Pasta Carbonara

This easy pasta recipe tastes surprisingly rich and decadent.  Tender linguine and salty pancetta tossed in a creamy, egg and parmesan cheese sauce – all using ingredients you probably already have on hand.  Its a wonderful and comforting dish that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.

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Carbonara is an Italian dish from Rome.  It consists of pasta that is coated with eggs, pancetta or bacon, and grated hard Italian cheese, like Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago.

Ingredients for pasta carbonara-pasta, eggs, pancetta, garlic, and parmesan cheese

It gets its creamy ‘sauce’ using pasta water, eggs, and grated cheese.  It uses no cream or butter for the sauce.


You hear that a recipe is ‘easy’ a lot and then you get into the middle of it only to trip up on a confusing or unclear step.  It’s so frustrating.

I can assure you this recipe is incredibly easy.  Cook pasta. Chop up pancetta or bacon and garlic and saute all together.  Whisk together eggs, pasta water, pepper, and cheese. Toss the pasta and the egg mixture in the skillet quickly.  Sprinkle with more cheese and eat. Yep, it’s that easy.

The only challenging part, if you could even call it that, is to be sure to work quickly when pouring in the eggs, tossing quickly so that they don’t scramble.  Adding the water to the eggs helps a bit. Just keep the pasta moving and you should be just fine.

Plate of pasta carbonara-spaghetti in a creamy, egg and parmesan sauce with pancetta. An easy pasta recipe.


  • Use fresh, pasteurized eggs.  Even though the eggs do cook while in the skillet, they provide a lot of flavor.  Fresher eggs will add a better flavor.
  • Grate your own cheese.  Please don’t buy that fake stuff in the plastic shaker bottle.  In a pinch, you could use the pre-grated stuff in the bags, but they are coated with an anti-caking substance and don’t melt as smoothly.  
  • Be sure to salt the pasta water.  This is what will season and flavor the pasta.  It’s critical to the flavor of the dish.
  • Dice the pancetta or bacon into smaller bits and sautee them slowly to release as much of their fat as possible.  And don’t toss out the fat! You need the fat to coat the pasta.


Plate of pasta carbonara-spaghetti in a creamy, egg and parmesan sauce with pancetta. An easy pasta recipe.

Compliment your meal with this recipe for a fennel and orange salad with champagne vinaigrette.  The fresh, crunchy vegetables and acidic dressing compliments and cuts through the fat of the carbonara.  Sip on a cool cosmopolitan martini while dining and finish your masterpiece meal with this recipe for a light dessert – Italian Amaretti Peaches.

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Plate of pasta carbonara-spaghetti in a creamy, egg and parmesan sauce with pancetta. An easy pasta recipe.



Who knew that such an easy pasta recipe could be so delicious?  Pasta and pancetta or bacon coated in an egg and parmesan sauce makes for the ultimate comfort food.



1 pound linguine pasta

6 slices pancetta, diced (can also use bacon)

4 garlic cloves, very finely minced

4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese, divided

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste


Fill a large pot with water.  Add enough salt that it tastes briny.  Bring to a full rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook, according to package directions, until al dente.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside.

Drain the pasta well.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the pancetta, stirring constantly, and cook until the meat begins to brown and turn crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Leave any fat in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle in the garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pasta water, black pepper, and 1 cup of the parmesan cheese.

Add the drained linguine to the pan and stir to coat with the pancetta, fat, and garlic.

Working quickly while constantly stirring, stir in the egg mixture and toss to combine.  Don’t allow the eggs to scramble. The pasta should have a creamy coating of the sauce. 

Use tongs to gently toss and coat each strand of linguine.

Serve with the reserved ½ cup grated parmesan cheese.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Boil and Saute
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: easy pasta recipe, pasta recipes, Italian recipes, comfort food, egg recipes, pasta, spaghetti recipes

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