Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This delicious Italian favorite originated in the Appenine hills of the Lazio region, and is thought to have been a staple dish for shepherds, as the ingredients were easy to transport or procure. The name comes from “carbonaro” which means coal miner, because of the plentiful black pepper used to season it.

Pasta alla Carbonara

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

A hearty pasta dish, especially nice on a chilly or wintry day!

This dish is made using raw eggs. The eggs get cooked by tossing them with the hot pasta. The trick is to cook them just enough so that they thicken into a creamy sauce, but don’t scramble.


  • 1 pound dry spaghetti (or any pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
  • 8 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed*
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3-4 large fresh eggs
  • Freshly grated cheese to taste, Parmigiano and/or Pecorino (optional)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pancetta; sauté until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Bring a large quantity of water (approx. 6-8 quarts) of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, or until al dente (firm but not mushy). Drain.
  4. Return the pancetta over medium heat long enough to heat thoroughly.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the pancetta and toss together.
  6. Add the beaten eggs, tossing together quickly. The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs. But you need to work quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Top with grated cheese (and if desired, fresh parsley).
  8. Serve immediately.

*Outside of Italy pancetta is usually available from speciality shops, but if you can’t find any, substitute unsmoked bacon or pork jowl.


Castelli Romani Rosso DOC

Many people prefer a white wine with this dish because of the egg. But as it’s a hearty dish, I personally think red is more suitable. So sticking to the old adage “If it grows together it goes together,” I suggest trying Castelli Romani wine. Grown in the hills just southeast of Rome, this ruby red dry wine with its intense floral bouquet is just right with Carbonara on a chilly winter day. Serve at about 16°C (60°F).

🥂 Cin-cin (or cheers) and buon appetito!

Images: Spaghetti in pan | Spaghetti in bowl | Emojis.

2 thoughts on “Spaghetti alla Carbonara

    1. That makes me happy, Dayle! This one is another family favorite, and it’s also greatly loved by preschool kids! Enjoy!!


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