This Carbonara Recipe is made with eggs, Pecorino Romano, parmesan, pepper, olive oil, bacon and al dente macaroni.
This is one of the easiest pasta dishes that uses minimal ingredients and will be ready in 15 minutes, loaded with parmesan and crispy bacon. This dish is so amazingly indulgent and luscious, and it takes just as long as the pasta cooks. The beaten eggs are tossed into the hot pasta and the fat from the bacon. If you are nervous about eaten the eggs, it actually gets completely cooked in the residual heat. Just be sure to work quickly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.
What is Carbonara?
Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish that originated in Rome. It is a simple but delicious dish that consists of spaghetti or other long pasta, mixed with a sauce made from eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper.
The sauce is typically made by whisking eggs and grated Parmesan cheese together, and then adding crispy pancetta or bacon, along with freshly cracked black pepper. The hot pasta is then added to the pan with the bacon, and the egg mixture is quickly stirred in until it creates a creamy sauce that coats the pasta.
Some variations of Carbonara may use different types of cheese, such as Pecorino Romano, and some may also include cream or butter to make the sauce even richer. However, the basic ingredients of eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper are what make Carbonara a classic and delicious Italian dish.
Why you will love Carbonara Recipe with Macaroni
Here are some reasons why you will love Carbonara recipe:
- Rich and Creamy Sauce: Carbonara sauce is made with eggs and cheese, which creates a rich and creamy sauce that coats the pasta perfectly. The sauce is also seasoned with freshly cracked black pepper, which adds a spicy kick to the dish.
- Quick and Easy to Prepare: Carbonara is a quick and easy recipe that can be prepared in just a few minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to enjoy a delicious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
- Versatile: Carbonara can be made with different types of pasta, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine, and can be customized with different ingredients, such as mushrooms, peas, or cherry tomatoes, to suit your taste preferences.
- Affordable: The ingredients for Carbonara are simple and affordable, making it an economical dish to prepare.
- Delicious Leftovers: Carbonara is a dish that tastes just as good the next day, so it's perfect for meal prepping or packing for lunch.
Carbonara Recipe Ingredients
- Pecorino romano
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive oil
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Carbonara Recipe
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, pecorino and parmesan. Season with salt and black pepper.
While the water is still boiling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon and sauté until the fat just renders, on the edge of crispiness. Remove from heat.
Add the pasta to the water and boil until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add to the warm skillet. Stir for a minute.
Stir in the egg mixture, adding some reserve pasta water is needed for creaminess. Serve immediately and top with extra parmesan or pepper.
Hint: The pan shouldn't be super hot when you add the cheese and egg mixture.
Eggs: For best quality, use cage free, organic eggs from your local supermarket. Make sure they reach room temperature before using, making them less likely to curdle once you toss them in the cooked pasta.
Garlic: You can smash the garlic or mince it.
Olive Oil: I would extra virgin olive oil for best quality and taste.
Pasta: I used macaroni but you can use any type of pasta for this. It is traditionally made with spaghetti, bucatini or fettucine. All of them work super well.
Parmesan: I prefer grating the parmesan myself for the best flavor. You could also use regular grated parmesan from the store.
Pecorino: If you cannot find pecorino anywhere, you can use all parmesan.
Bacon: Traditionally, carbonara is made with guanciale, a robustly flavored meat from Italy. It is difficult to find this in stores. I used bacon because I couldn’t find guanciale or pancetta. If you can’t find pancetta anywhere, it is almost okay to substitute with finely chopped bacon or bacon lardons.
Carbonara Recipe Variations
While the classic Carbonara recipe is made with spaghetti, eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper, there are several variations that you can try to add your own twist to the dish. Here are some Carbonara recipe variations:
- Chicken Carbonara: Add cooked chicken breast to the dish for a protein boost.
- Mushroom Carbonara: Add sautéed mushrooms to the pasta for an earthy flavor.
- Veggie Carbonara: Use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash instead of pasta, and add in your favorite vegetables, such as roasted cherry tomatoes, broccoli, or asparagus.
- Seafood Carbonara: Add cooked shrimp or scallops to the dish for a seafood twist.
- Carbonara with Cream: Add heavy cream to the egg and cheese mixture for a creamier sauce.
- Pancetta Carbonara: Use pancetta instead of bacon for a slightly different flavor.
- Spicy Carbonara: Add red pepper flakes to the dish for a spicy kick.
Check out this Lobster Bucatini.
To make Carbonara recipe, you will need:
- Large pot: To cook the pasta. I love using my Caraway pots for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here.
- Mixing bowl: To whisk together the eggs and cheese for the sauce.
- Large skillet: To cook the bacon and mix the pasta with the sauce.
- Wooden spoon or spatula: To stir the pasta and sauce in the skillet.
- Pasta strainer: To drain the cooked pasta.
- Measuring cups and spoons: To measure the ingredients accurately.
- Chef's knife and cutting board: To chop the bacon, cheese, and other ingredients if needed.
- Whisk: To whisk the eggs and cheese together for the sauce.
- Grater: To grate the Parmesan cheese.
How to Store Carbonara Recipe
Carbonara is best enjoyed immediately after it is prepared, but if you have leftovers, here are some tips on how to store it properly:
- Cool down quickly: Allow the Carbonara to cool down quickly by transferring it to a shallow container and spreading it out evenly. This will help prevent bacteria growth.
- Refrigerate: Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Reheat the Carbonara in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.
Note: Carbonara contains raw eggs, so it is important to reheat it thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to prevent foodborne illness.
Carbonara Recipe Top tips
Here are some Carbonara recipe top tips to help you create a delicious and authentic dish:
- Use high-quality ingredients: Since Carbonara has such few ingredients, it's important to use high-quality ones. Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, high-quality bacon or pancetta, and fresh eggs for the best results.
- Cook the pasta al dente: Cook the pasta just until it is al dente, or slightly firm to the bite. Overcooked pasta will become mushy and won't hold the sauce well.
- Reserve pasta water: Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water to use in the sauce. The starchy water helps thicken the sauce and binds it to the pasta.
- Use the right cheese: The classic recipe calls for Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but you can use any high-quality hard, salty cheese that you prefer.
- Don't overcook the eggs: When making the sauce, remove the skillet from the heat before adding the egg mixture. This prevents the eggs from curdling and becoming scrambled.
- Mix quickly: When adding the egg mixture to the pasta, mix it quickly and thoroughly to coat the pasta with the sauce before the eggs begin to cook.
- Add black pepper: Carbonara is traditionally seasoned with freshly cracked black pepper, which adds a spicy kick to the dish. Use freshly cracked pepper for the best flavor.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove