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Authentic Pasta Carbonara is easy to make, full of bacon flavor, and smothered in a cheesy egg sauce that will make you crave more. 

Pasta Carbonara in a stainless steel skillet.

What is the origin of pasta carbonara?

Pasta carbonara originates in the Rome region of Italy. No one knows the exact story behind the origination of the dish, but we do know where the location where the dish comes from. The word carbonara in Italian has to do with charcoal so many theories of the origin involve coal miners making the dish. However it came to be, the popularity of the dish increased throughout Italy and spread throughout the world after World War II.

How to reheat pasta carbonara:

It is best to reheat pasta carbonara over the stove, and not in the microwave. Toss pasta in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until heated through. If the pasta appears dry, add olive oil 1 teaspoon at a time until the pasta no longer looks dry.

Pasta Carbonara served up on a white plate.

What kind of pasta should I use to make carbonara?

Any kind of pasta can be used to make pasta carbonara, as carbonara refers to the sauce itself. Many times you will see a spaghetti type pasta used to make this dish, but other pasta shapes can be used as well.

What if I’m allergic to eggs?

Check out my recipe for Eggless Spaghetti Carbonara for those who are allergic to eggs or simply don’t want to use them.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other Italian pasta recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Pasta Carbonara in a stainless steel skillet.
Authentic Pasta Carbonara is easy to make, full of bacon flavor, and smothered in a cheesy egg sauce that will make you crave more.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon or pancetta diced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated pecorino romano cheese divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley to garnish
Instructions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water before draining.
  • In a large saucepan, cook bacon (or pancetta) over medium heat until crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain fat from bacon, reserving just 2 tablespoons of the grease.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, eggs, and 1 cup pecorino romano cheese.
  • Toss drained pasta with cooked bacon, and 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Pour egg mixture in, along with reserved pasta water and toss together with pasta 2 minutes.
  • Serve hot topped with remaining cheese, freshly ground pepper, and parsley to garnish.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 260mg | Sodium: 1995mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 311mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta Carbonara
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Nancy
March 4, 2020 10:44 am

My husband is not a big Pasta eater but he said this
is a keeper.. We loved it. A definite do again. 5 stars
Easy to make.

Michelle
April 30, 2019 4:30 pm

5 stars
I made this for dinner tonight, but combined it with another dish we enjoy and added chicken breast and broccoli. It was so good! I just cubed, seasoned and sautéed boneless chicken breast, set it aside. I blanched the broccoli in the pasta water before cooking the pasta, drained and chopped it up. Then combined them when adding the bacon.

March 26, 2020 5:11 pm

5 stars
Another perfect recipe! My go to carbonara! Adding mushrooms tonite …yum!

Mama Myers
January 2, 2020 7:08 pm

5 stars
We used prosciutto instead of bacon and added peas. It was absolutely fantastic ! It really had that authentic taste to it! We will certainly make this again.

Debbie
April 25, 2019 8:10 pm

This was my first time making spaghetti carbonara, I tried your recipe because of all of the good reviews. Everybody loved it! I used thick cut bacon and parmesan as i had them on hand. Thank you so much!

Richard Board
January 26, 2019 11:47 am

5 stars
I have been following the Stay At Home Chef for several months now, and I have replicated several of he recipes. All have resulted in excellent results and gotten high praise from my wife, my son, and my ultra-picky 9-year-old grandson (“This is really good, Grandpa!”) This carbonara recipe is to die for, and caused me to respond to this blog. It is wonderful in flavor, texture and richness; and really simple to prepare with minimal cooking skills. Don’t wait another day to make this great dish for the ones you love. You’ll be a hero!

Paula
April 20, 2020 7:28 pm

5 stars
Wonderful recipe! Everyone in my family loved it. I will definitely make this again.

Lyn
January 9, 2020 3:14 pm

Raw eggs???

February 12, 2020 4:25 pm
Reply to  Lyn

The eggs will cook enough in the hot pasta and water to not be raw anymore.

Alin Borca
May 6, 2020 2:22 pm
Reply to  Lyn

Yes, because when mixed with hot water from pasta and the hot grease from bacon, they cook.

Anne
October 21, 2020 5:52 am
Reply to  Lyn

they cook with the heat if the pasta and hot pasta water

Eileen
February 17, 2019 3:43 pm

5 stars
This recipe was so delicious!! I have been following the same pasta carbonara recipe for years but decided to try this one and it was absolutely fantastic and this is the one I’m going to be following from now on!!!

December 30, 2018 9:57 pm

5 stars
This is one of my favorite foods to order out except it is so rich and I have a hard time finding people to share it with! Making it at home with the family is a perfect idea.

I have also had it served quite deliciously with sausage – don’t know what kind. I also prefer fettuccine over spaghetti.

Don’t be afraid of the eggs people (unless you are allergic.) They do cook in the sauce and you cannot detect them, except they make the carbonara distinctly rich.

Thanks Rachel!

KK
August 6, 2020 2:24 am

5 stars
Absolutely delicious ! Fattening as hell ! Yum

Saranda Dyla
February 26, 2020 10:22 am

5 stars
Great authentic Carbonara. A repeat recipe in my house. Thanks!

Michael Andersen
February 20, 2020 7:50 pm

4 stars
I fell in love with Carbonara while in Rome last fall. This recipe definitely does justice to my wonderful memories of authentic Carbonara. It’s easy to make and my wife loves it! Thank you!

June 7, 2019 3:32 am

Tasty and easy to make. This has definitely become a family favorite.

Kristina
February 12, 2020 2:43 am

Is it suitable to make a day ahead?

February 12, 2020 4:24 pm
Reply to  Kristina

Pasta carbonara is best fresh, but if you’re going to reheat, it is best to reheat pasta carbonara over the stove, and not in the microwave. Toss pasta in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until heated through. If the pasta appears dry, add olive oil 1 teaspoon at a time until the pasta no longer looks dry.

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