Spaghetti Carbonara (spaghetti alla Carbonara) recipe

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A classic, simple, delicious Italian pasta recipe, spaghetti carbonara (Spaghetti alla Carbonara in Italian) is pasta with bacon, eggs and Parmesan cheese. This recipe is simple to make and can be ready in just 10 minutes, yet it is extremely tasty, great for lunch or dinner.
Preparation time: 0 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 4 


1 lb (500 g) spaghetti

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. pancetta (substitute with bacon slices) cut in 1/3 inch (1 cm) wide pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Extra Parmesan cheese for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and add the pasta. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al-dente (check cooking time on the packaging - it should not take more than 8 to 10 minutes). Drain the pasta well, reserving around 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, start making the carbonara sauce. In a skillet over medum heat add the olive oil and pancetta or bacon. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until soft (make sure you do not burn the garlic or it will turn bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.

When the pasta is ready, empty into the pan with the cooked bacon and toss until well covered. In a bowl add the eggs and Parmesan cheese and beat until uniformly mixed. Pour the egg mixture into the pasta and toss until evenly combined. Add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid to the pasta and toss until you achieve the desired consistency.

Serve the carbonara in individual dishes topped with freshly ground black pepper, extra Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped flat leaf parsley.

Notes and tips

Even though the eggs are used raw in this recipe, the process of adding them to the hot pasta and tossing them actually cooks them, so there is no need to worry. Just make sure you use fresh eggs and you add them to the spaghetti as soon as the spaghetti is cooked and drained, so that the pasta is as hot as possible.
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