Simple pasta carbonara

simple pasta carbonara
The golden rule of cooking a carbonara is to never add cream to the sauce. Traditional carbonara sauce is made with eggs, Parmesan cheese, and pancetta or bacon, and the heat from the pasta and hot pasta water creates a creamy and velvety sauce. Adding cream to the sauce not only changes the flavor and texture of the dish, but it also deviates from the authentic recipe. So if you want to make a delicious and authentic carbonara, remember to skip the cream and stick to the classic ingredients.

What is the difference between pasta carbonara and alfredo?

Pasta carbonara and Alfredo are both pasta dishes that are rich, creamy, and indulgent, but they have distinct differences in their ingredients and preparation.

Pasta carbonara is a Roman dish that features spaghetti or other long pasta tossed with a sauce made from eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, and pancetta or bacon. The heat from the hot pasta and reserved pasta water helps to create a creamy and velvety sauce, without the use of cream. Carbonara is typically seasoned with black pepper and sometimes garlic, and it has a slightly smoky and salty flavor.

Alfredo, on the other hand, is a sauce that originated in Rome but gained popularity in the United States. It is made by melting butter in a pan and then adding heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. The sauce is then mixed with fettuccine or other pasta and served immediately. Alfredo sauce is typically not seasoned with black pepper, but sometimes with nutmeg or garlic, and it has a rich, buttery, and slightly sweet flavor.

In summary, while both carbonara and Alfredo are creamy and indulgent pasta dishes, the main differences are in the ingredients used to make the sauce. Carbonara uses eggs, Parmesan cheese, and pancetta or bacon, while Alfredo uses butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. Carbonara has a smoky and salty flavor, while Alfredo is buttery and slightly sweet.

Is carbonara just raw eggs?

Carbonara sauce is made with raw eggs, but it is not the same as eating raw eggs. The eggs in carbonara are not raw in the traditional sense, as they are cooked by the heat of the pasta and reserved pasta water. When the egg and cheese mixture is added to the hot pasta, the heat from the noodles cooks the eggs and creates a creamy and velvety sauce. The result is a delicious and rich sauce that is not runny or raw-tasting.

It’s important to note that the eggs used in carbonara should be fresh and of good quality, as they are the main ingredient in the sauce. It’s also important to use caution when handling raw eggs to prevent foodborne illness. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, it’s recommended to use pasteurized eggs or to cook the sauce gently over low heat to ensure the eggs are fully cooked.

What pasta is used in carbonara?

Spaghetti is the most commonly used pasta in carbonara, but other long pasta shapes like fettuccine, linguine, or bucatini can also be used.

In Italian cuisine, the names of pasta shapes are often associated with the sauce they are traditionally served with. Carbonara sauce is typically served with spaghetti, but it can also be paired with other pasta shapes as well.

Carbonara is an Italian word that comes from the Italian word “carbone,” meaning coal. The dish is said to have originated in Rome after World War II when American soldiers introduced bacon and eggs to Italian pasta dishes. The coal miners of the region also ate similar dishes with eggs and bacon for breakfast, which may have inspired the name. Carbonara is now a popular pasta dish both in Italy and around the world.

simple pasta carbonara
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Simple Pasta Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is simple and delicious comfort food.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Hearty


  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Medium-sized pan for cooking sauce
  • Whisk or fork for mixing the sauce
  • Tongs or a pasta server
  • Grater for grating cheese


  • 12 oz spaghetti or other long pasta
  • 4 oz pancetta or bacon diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced pancetta or bacon and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  • When the pasta is done cooking, use tongs or a pasta server to transfer it directly from the pot to the pan with the pancetta and garlic. Reserve some of the pasta water in case you need to thin out the sauce later.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta. Toss the pasta and sauce together until the sauce thickens and coats the noodles. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of reserved pasta water to thin it out.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with extra Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley (if desired).


Enjoy your simple and delicious pasta carbonara!
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