New This Month

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

  • Servings: 6


  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and spaghetti, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a bowl.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining tablespoon oil, and heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat.

  4. Beat the egg yolks, heavy cream, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl until combined. Add drained hot pasta and pancetta to skillet, and pour the egg mixture over. If pasta seems dry, add enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten. Season liberally with freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Serve garnished with chopped parsley, additional cheese, and lemon zest, if desired.

Reviews Add a comment

    15 OCT, 2008
    Carbonara is made with guanciale, the bacon from the jowels of the pig. Everything is added BEFORE the egg. The egg is added last then mixed in while removing the dish from the pan so it cooks quickly. Then add ther pepper
  • saabindee
    14 OCT, 2008
    This is so easy and delicious. Don't forget to reserve some pasta water- it will be a bit dry.
  • oceanrose02
    4 FEB, 2008
    Hi Martha! Being a nutritionist, i am really health conscious but i just love pasta alla intead of the thick cream, what can i use?
  • PhillinGood
    20 JAN, 2008
    Thickened cream should be fine. It's basically the same stuff. The trick is to whisk the mixture continuously to prevent lumps from forming. and don't forget to turn off the heat before you pour in the cream-egg mixture as failure to do so will result in clumping. Hope this helps!
  • joelle123
    26 DEC, 2007
    Hi Martha, im a fan who is based in Singapore. This carbonara is my first dish that i have tried and i encountered some problem.Im not able to find Thick Cream in our supermarket. So i have tried making this spaghetti using thicken cream. the gravy becomes lumpy and looks like scramble egg. Pls help. Is there alternative to thick cream? is thicken cream similar or should i add some water to it? Anxious fan.