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Pasta Carbonara is a simple pasta dish of spaghetti coated in a rich, creamy sauce made from eggs and cheese, tossed with pancetta and peas.

A fork twirled in pasta carbonara Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is one of those pasta dishes that is so simple to make but it’s so hard to find a place that makes it really well. My guy always looks for it on the menu when we go to an Italian restaurant and only a few of them have been given the seal of approval. So, I had to learn to make it myself!

The rich, creamy sauce that coats the pasta is what makes all of the difference. Authentic pasta carbonara, or spaghetti carbonara, is made by mixing eggs and pecorino Romano cheese together and pouring them over the hot pasta and stirring everything together.

The eggs and cheese combine to make this amazingly cream sauce that coats the pasta perfectly. Add in some crisp, salty, pancetta, and bright, fresh, English peas, grind a little fresh black pepper over it, and you’ve got the perfect dinner!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Thank you!How to make Pasta Carbonara

What is in Pasta Carbonara?

  • Spaghetti – Fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini can also used.
  • Pancetta – Traditional pasta carbonara uses guanciale but pancetta is a good substitution and easier to find. You can also substitute bacon if needed.
  • Pecorino Romano – A hard, salty, Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk.
  • Eggs
  • English Peas – Some recipes skip the peas and you can too. Personally I love the bright flavor and hint of sweetness they add!

Is it Safe to Use Under-Cooked Eggs?

Yes, Pasta Carbonara is safe, and delicious! When adding the eggs to the pasta they will cook slightly but they will not reach 160 degrees F. That’s ok though because it is perfectly safe to eat under-cooked, or raw, eggs if they are pasteurized. Make sure to read your container when purchasing eggs for this recipe.

To be doubly safe you should avoid serving anything with under-cooked eggs in it to pregnant women, small children, or elderly people, or people with compromised immune systems.

creamy pasta carbonara in a bowl

How to Make Pasta Carbonara:

  1. Add olive oil to a dutch oven or deep skillet and cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until it is crisp.
  2. Set pancetta aside and pour off the oil from the pot saving about 3 tablespoons to add back (if you don’t have 3 tablespoons you can add more olive oil to equal 3 tablespoons).
  3. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and pecorino Romano cheese.
  4. Cook your spaghetti, according to package instructions, in water that has been salted. When it is cooked to a perfect al dente use a heat-proof measuring cup to reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
  5. Add the reserved oil back to your dutch oven and heat it over medium heat.
  6. Once the oil is warm add your cooked and drained pasta, then slowly pour the egg mixture over it stirring and turning the pasta to coat it. If it becomes a little dry add the pasta water, a small amount at a time, to loosen the pasta up.
  7. Add your pancetta, and English peas, and toss together until the peas are warmed through.
  8. Serve with a little extra pecorino Romano, and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

I told you guys it was simple! Pasta Carbonara is the perfect example of what you can do with just a few quality ingredients. This creamy, rich, salty, pasta is going to change the way you think about spaghetti!

Want More Easy Pasta Recipes?

PASTA CARBONARA
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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is a simple pasta dish of spaghetti coated in a rich, creamy sauce made from eggs and cheese, tossed with pancetta and peas. 
A fork twirled in pasta carbonara
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Pancetta , thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Frozen English peas, thawed
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to a dutch oven or deep skillet and cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until it is crisp.
  • Set pancetta aside and pour off the oil from the pot saving about 3 tablespoons to add back (if you don't have 3 tablespoons you can add more olive oil to equal 3 tablespoons).
  • In a bowl whisk together the eggs and pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Cook your spaghetti, according to package instructions, in water that has been salted. When it is cooked to a perfect al dente use a heat-proof measuring cup to reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
  • Add the reserved oil back to your dutch oven and heat it over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm add your cooked and drained pasta, then slowly pour the egg mixture over it stirring and turning the pasta to coat it. If it becomes a little dry add the pasta water, a small amount at a time, to loosen the pasta up.
  • Add your pancetta, and English peas, and toss together until the peas are warmed through.
  • Serve with a little extra pecorino Romano, and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 774kcal, Carbohydrates: 91g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 167mg, Sodium: 4031mg, Potassium: 464mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 560IU, Vitamin C: 14.5mg, Calcium: 317mg, Iron: 2.9mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how to make pasta carbonara, spaghetti carbonara, what is in pasta carbonara