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Under 30 Minutes

Spaghetti Carbonara

A carbonara sauce is typically made with bacon, eggs, and cheese. We've added a little half-and-half for a silky texture.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Spaghetti Carbonara

Source: Everyday Food, March 2006

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

  1. Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

  2. Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.

  4. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

Reviews (83)

  • ChantellyVous 20 Jan, 2014

    Just made this recipe for the first time and it's an absolute hit with my husband and I. I went a little heavy on the pepper and light on the salt and it balanced out flavor perfectly. I tweaked it a bit also and went with turkon (turkey bacon) instead of pork. That gave it a bolder flavor without the grease.

  • His private chef 1 Nov, 2013

    I've seen Martha make this and it looks absolutely Delish!
    I've yet to try it but, being that I'm a huge pasta fan and my husband of course is a huge bacon fan,I will be making this soon!
    Just wanted to add,if you're not aware,adding the water to the eggs before adding them to the pasta,should be in a small amount just to "temper" the eggs.I see this a lot in recipes and it's never explained for those who don't know....

  • nancycooley1 1 Nov, 2013

    I've been making this recipe for about 40 years and I've never seen it made this way anywhere else. The only difference is that I use garlic in mine. I got the recipe from out of the Food Stamp Gourmet cookbook in the 1960's. You put the garlic in the pan with bacon and bacon grease as a last step before you pour it into the pasta and eggs. Cholesterol nightmare indeed, but so tasty!!

  • foodlovers_712 22 Jun, 2013

    is there any substitute for half-and-half that can be easily get in any supermarket? what about nestle cream, can i use it instead of half-and-half?

  • coqueiphone 1 Jun, 2013

    merci du partage

    coque iphone
    coque ipad
    etui ipad

  • Caroline Siniscalchi 11 Feb, 2013

    PERFECTLY SIMPLE...MY HUSBAND TRIED MAKING THIS WITH A DIFFERENT RECIPE LAST NIGHT...IT WAS A DISASTER BUT IM GOING TO TRY THIS ONE TONIGHT tHANK YOU

  • Nui Nanthiya 22 Jan, 2013

    Easy carbonara

  • Barbara Scarafiocca 23 Oct, 2012

    The ingredients to make spaghetti alla carbonara are:
    - Spaghetti (preferably bronze drawing)
    - Bacon
    - Pecorino Romano / Parmesan Reggiano DOP
    - Fresh eggs
    - Rock salt to boil the pasta
    - Freshly ground pepper

    Nothing else!
    Greetings from Italy,
    Barbara
    (Translated with Google)

  • coheesive 19 Sep, 2012

    Flavorless. This recipe is absolute rubbish. Skip this one and find a better recipe.

  • giovan 7 May, 2012

    I have been a fan of Martha since day one. I don't believe that authentic dishes should be changed such as this one. When other ingredients are added or substituted it should be named different.
    The public should be given the authentic recipe . If they want to add or change it's their prerogative.

  • rxclra 10 Sep, 2011

    I agree use a large bowl or put back into your pasta pot. I used 1 package of turkey bacon. It turned out great. Was really fast and the family loved it.

  • cindybet 27 Apr, 2011

    This was wonderful! Very easy, too. DO use a large bowl to allow room for tossing. I used only half a package of pasta (8 oz) to serve 2 adults and 2 kids. Thanks for this, Martha!

  • rosesjasmine 28 Jan, 2011

    Hi Martha,
    I am a ausie from down under-Australia.
    Can you Please tell me, what is 'Half and Half' ??
    I love your show , Great crafts and recipes !!!
    Many Thanks
    Rosesjasmine.
    Ravenshoe, North of Queensland, Australia.

  • kparise 28 Sep, 2010

    Delicious!! i added the sauce to the spaghetti after it was drained instead of the other way around to make sure the egg cooked. YUM!!

  • etinetin 28 Sep, 2010

    Hi, Im living in Norway, and love the Martha show. I would like to thank JaneRW /bubbles8387, for telling us what is half and half is. I'm not much of a kitchen person so kitchen vocabulary is a little bit foreign to me. Thanks again. and by the way cute dog!

  • jmcnamara 1 Aug, 2010

    For those of you worried about the raw eggs: I contacted the company that makes Egg Beaters, and their Original Egg Beaters (not the flavored ones) are safe to use in recipes calling for raw eggs (like this recipe and Caesar salad, etc.), because of they way they are processed.

  • JaneRW 15 Jul, 2010

    bubbles8387-- half and half can be purchased in the dairy case near the heavy cream and milk. it is actually a mixture of these two, and so has less fat and calories than cream. it is sometimes used instead of cream, and gives a less liquidy texture and taste than milk would give. however, it will not be anywhere near as thick as cream.

  • bubbles8387 18 Jun, 2010

    I just wanted to know what is half and half is? This recipe looks so easy and yummy, i can't wait to try it

  • dennisf 16 Jun, 2010

    I've made this great recipe several times now. I add a little ground nutmeg sometimes if I happen to remember it.

  • jsnoblit 4 Jun, 2010

    i can't wait to try it.

  • jsnoblit 4 Jun, 2010

    this looks like an awesome dish.

  • Pamada 4 Jun, 2010

    i found this in wikipedia "The United States dairy product known as half and half is a mixture of one part milk to one part cream."

    hope that can help you.

  • angelapontoriero 1 Jun, 2010

    My father's made this for us since we were kids, and he actually saves some of the bacon grease and adds it to the pasta when he mixes it all together. Just a bit to keep it from being dry.

  • ajobpal 7 May, 2010

    Completely waste of time and money!

  • swethart 27 Apr, 2010

    anybody can tell me what is half-and-half?

  • Ceight85 15 Apr, 2010

    Have made this recipe twice. First I followed the directions exactly. I just made it tonight and realized (half-way through) that I didn't have the half-and-half I needed. All I had was skim milk, so I used that and it wasn't bad! To me, it tasted almost identical! I added a little extra cheese to the mix but it was still pretty creamy and the taste was the same. Just a tip for a "lighter" version of this recipe, or incase you forget the half-and-half like me!

  • gardenmotherof4 15 Apr, 2010

    I just made it,loved it and even better my kids loved it. fast and delicious, my kind of meal too bad their isn't any leftovers.

  • sakeenath 13 Apr, 2010

    what is single cream?
    the ingredient which is used for half and half??

  • sakeenath 13 Apr, 2010

    what is single cream?
    the ingredient which is used for half and half??

  • giggling 21 Mar, 2010

    Can I use different cheese? and if yes which one?

    JP from http://www.gigglinggrapes.com

  • smilinggreenmom 8 Mar, 2010

    We love this! We just tried some last month using Kamut Khorasan What pasta and it was fantastic - now I must try your recipe.

  • connie0419 24 Feb, 2010

    I add chicken to this and it's fab I also use more bacon and set it in the oven on low for a bit to make sure the eggs are completely cooked...the whole family loves it!

  • TangJeen 18 Feb, 2010

    @Riala,
    I'm not American either but I did Google search and it came out "half-and-half = use 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup single cream."

  • TangJeen 18 Feb, 2010

    @Riala,
    I'm not American either but I did Google search and it came out "half-and-half = use 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup single cream."

  • Riala 24 Jan, 2010

    Sorry, but what is half and half? (UK here)

  • vailgirl 11 Mar, 2009

    i usually make this for breakfast...holds me over for a later lunch.

  • Tryingsomethingnew 14 Feb, 2009

    After reading the comments I used one less egg, and skipped the meat. I added a couple mushrooms and it really came together. Hot plates really make the dish.

  • sonyru 13 Jan, 2009

    Jesscouser - save some of the pasta water and when combining all the ingredients, add some of the water a bit at a time until you have a more creamy consistency, thus less dry.

  • jesscouser 31 Dec, 2008

    was it supposed to be so dry? we liked the flavor, but it was sticky and very dry. would adding more half and half help, or would that result in less flavor? any suggestions?

  • aclinky 12 Nov, 2008

    I loved this one, I would add more bacon though!

  • Bekos 31 Oct, 2008

    I made this dish for a quick and easy weekday dinner. It was very easy and I thought it was very good. I liked it a lot. I don't think I'd serve it to company, but it was good after a long day. Also, for LaMae, have you tried egg substitute?

  • jacasper3 26 Oct, 2008

    I made the Carbonara recipe for dinner. I use rotini pasta and added grilled chicken breast. The trip is to whisk the eggs, cream and cheese in a large bowl, add the hot pasta, bacon and chicken and stir quickly so the eggs do not scramble and sauce thickens up and coats all of the pasta and meat.

  • hlm584 22 Oct, 2008

    Delish! Substituted turkey bacon for a leaner verison and had to use whipping cream as I had no half-and-half on hand - still tasted great! Best eaten fresh as egg forms when reheated as leftovers.

  • Larsador 19 Oct, 2008

    I have to agree with the Null, the previous poster. I made it exactly like the recipe said and it was HORRIBLE. It did not taste good at all. I have had Spaghetti Carbonara hundreds of times and this, by far, was the worst tasting. No one at the dinner table liked it. In n n n n n ll stick to my recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara! Sorry Martha.

  • Larsador 19 Oct, 2008

    Welln n n n n n I have to agree with Null, the previous poster. I made it exactly like the recipe said and it was HORRIBLE. It did not taste goodn n n n n n at all. I have had Spaghetti Carbonara hundreds of times and this, by farn n n n n n was the worst tasting. No one at the dinner table liked it. In n n n n n ll stick to my recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara! - Sorry Martha.

  • Vixx 19 Oct, 2008

    This was so easy to make that I got my man to make it for dinner. And I was so delicious. We'll be having this one again.

  • medicjenn 17 Oct, 2008

    Ya I'm a little worried about the raw egg mix too but it does cook when added to piping hot noodles. Just let sit for a few minute to make sure egg does cook thoroughly.

  • erin_jd 17 Oct, 2008

    (heat from pasta will cook eggs).

  • missdi 17 Oct, 2008

    I'm a little leary about the raw egg mixture.

  • wildacresbees 17 Oct, 2008

    1/2

  • wildacresbees 17 Oct, 2008

    Zuraidahkadirun:

    1/2

  • zuraidahkadirun 17 Oct, 2008

    what is hal-and half? any alternative?

  • angelli 16 Oct, 2008

    love this one! very quick to cook esp f u dont have all the time and want a good meal to chow! =)

  • JosieK 16 Oct, 2008

    I'm eating a big plate of it right now. I couldn't wait for my husband to come home. Delicious! I added some Italian parsley in with my egg mixture 'cause I love the taste of it. Other than that..SUPER EASY and SUPER DELICIOUS!

  • chicknlady 16 Oct, 2008

    Sugarkitty, try allrecipes.com. They have just such a search where you can enter ingredients you want to use and presto....up come the recipes!
    This spaghetti recipe is yummy and so easy...I am always looking for things to do with my eggs. With 30 hens I am buried under the incredible edible eggs!

  • Donna_Jagoe 16 Oct, 2008

    I made this recipe tonight. Delicious! I forgot to add the salt, but it didn't need it really. I combined the hot pasta with the egg mixture, but it didn't really get thick, so I had to put it into the microwave and stir it every 30 seconds. I advise to bring the ingredients to room temp before you add to pasta or else the heat from the pasta won't cook the eggs.

  • JudiH 16 Oct, 2008

    Main Course

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    ok some kind of fluke with the website, if anyone knows how to fix that please do . thanks

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    Thicken with butter and flour making a white sauce and add cheese and bacon, that should do it. I am making it tonight without the eggs and adding Italian sausage and evoo instead of bacon and a little garlic.

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    Thicken with butter and flour making a white sauce and add cheese and bacon, that should do it. I am making it tonight without the eggs and adding Italian sausage and evoo instead of bacon and a little garlic.

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    Thicken with butter and flour making a white sauce and add cheese and bacon, that should do it. I am making it tonight without the eggs and adding Italian sausage and evoo instead of bacon and a little garlic.

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    Thicken with butter and flour making a white sauce and add cheese and bacon, that should do it. I am making it tonight without the eggs and adding Italian sausage and evoo instead of bacon and a little garlic.

  • soupg 16 Oct, 2008

    Thicken with butter and flour making a white sauce and add cheese and bacon, that should do it. I am making it tonight without the eggs and adding Italian sausage and evoo instead of bacon and a little garlic.

  • SUGARKITTY 16 Oct, 2008

    So many days I only have certian things in my ref. or cupboard. We need a site to type in main ingredents we have on hand. then a list of what we can make would come back at us. I would really love a "what we can make for Dinner with whats on hand. You know give our lazy brain a jump start. thnak you Patty

  • SUGARKITTY 16 Oct, 2008

    So many days I only have certian things in my ref. or cupboard. We need a site to type in main ingredents we have on hand. then a list of what we can make would come back at us. I would really love a "what we can make for Dinner with whats on hand. You know give our lazy brain a jump start. thnak you Patty

  • LaMae 16 Oct, 2008

    Dish sounds delicious but w/allergy to eggs, I'm scared. What can replace eggs period?

    LaMae

  • RichardSA 25 Sep, 2008

    Half and half is also not available here in Thailand. I looked on the internet for a substitute and can across this recipe. I have tried it and it has the right taste and consistency of half and half.
    Makes 1 cup
    Ingredients:
    7/8 cup milk
    7/8 tablespoon melted butter, cooled
    Directions
    Mix well and use in place of Half and Half.

  • megandconnorsmom 18 Sep, 2008

    I have made this recipe about 5 times and I love it, and my kids love it which is what counts. I have also made it with pancetta, and used fat free half and half and whole wheat pasta. Ithink that you an never go wrong when baconm is involved.

  • meghan_richey 12 Aug, 2008

    To answer the question about half-and-half ... Half-and-half is a dairy product - it's half whole milk, half heavy cream.

  • riot 12 Aug, 2008

    sorry, but being from South Africa, I don't know what half-an-half is. can someone clear this one up for me please?

  • missviridiana 24 Jul, 2008

    wow! this sounds and looks so delicious! Martha comes up with the bestest ideas seriously. i'm not a really organizational kind of person, but now, i want to be like that, and she has this wedding planner checklist, that wow, i just had to print it out, and well, i'm kinda stingy with my printer ink haha but its just so awesome!

  • missviridiana 24 Jul, 2008

    wow! this sounds and looks so delicious! Martha comes up with the bestest ideas seriously. i'm not a really organizational kind of person, but now, i want to be like that, and she has this wedding planner checklist, that wow, i just had to print it out, and well, i'm kinda stingy with my printer ink haha but its just so awesome!

  • wfb-mom 24 May, 2008

    I made this using the suggestion of putting the sauce into the pan with the bacon to heat it a bit. I also put frozen peas into the water with the noodles and added some cooked chicken I had in the fridge. My family inhaled it.

  • mauserati 22 May, 2008

    re: eggs still raw
    whites take longer to cook; try just the yolks. the sauce will be creamier for it.
    If you want to reheat, be sure to heat about an ounce of water in the bottom of the pan (or dish, if microwaving) before adding the cold pasta.

  • dizzydeb 6 May, 2008

    Loved this dish. Easy and fast to prepare and tasted delicious. One of our family favorites.

  • chrysalis39 3 Apr, 2008

    To egjohns, yes I added the past immediately and quickly as well as some of the pasta water. Egg mixture was at room temp too. Different strokes for different folks but we hated this and won't ever have it again. Glad it worked for you but just not our cup of tea. Too gross!

  • egjohns 30 Mar, 2008

    to chrysalis39--maybe you didn't add the pasta to the egg mixture quickly enough? add it quick--and make sure to keep some of the hot water that the pasta cooked in. Another tip is to let the egg mixture come to room temperature, then add the hot pasta. My family loves this dish!

  • chrysalis39 12 Mar, 2008

    I love spaghetti carbonara but we thought this was awful. I would not make it again. Tossing the hot pasta with the sauce did not cook the egg mixture enough. We still tasted raw egg when eating. It was also quite bland and flavorless. It looked easy so I thought I'd give it a try but I will stick with others that taste better.

  • bebeblues 4 Mar, 2008

    Half-and-half is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream, and is 10 to 12 percent milk fat. Neither half-and-half nor light cream can be whipped. In the supermarkets in my area it is carried in the dairy aisle next to the heavy cream and milk. I've made this recipe several times, it is really good. I use pancetta instead of regular bacon.

  • iamnikka 4 Mar, 2008

    what;s half-and-half? where can i get that?

  • dezyndiva 18 Jan, 2008

    I crumble the cooked bacon into the pan used for cooking it; then add the hot pasta, then the liquid mixture. The pasta picks up all the flavor from the bacon and the pan crisps that way. Delish! and mine reheats well.

  • JerzyPeach 15 Nov, 2007

    My family loves this! My children help with it every time and the fresh cracked pepper is essential - No substitute! Wonderful! (PS: Doesn't reheat well)

  • zipkobe 14 Nov, 2007

    I really enjoyed this, I used turkey bacon and added some fresh parsely.

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