If you can boil water, then making pasta carbonara is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. A quick dinner made from six everyday kitchen staples, carbonara is a comfort food standby in Italian kitchens for good reason. As the spaghetti cooks, you'll crisp up some pancetta in a skillet, whisk together eggs and cream on the side, and then toss it all together with and grated Parmesan to create a silky, creamy pasta that is perfect for any day of the week.


Bryan Gardner

Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large skillet, heat oil and pancetta over medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned around edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, yolks, and cream; season lightly with salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 minute less than package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Add 1 cup pasta water to skillet; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Slowly add egg mixture to pasta, stirring, until sauce thickens and clings to pasta. Stir in cheese and pancetta; season generously with pepper and serve immediately with more cheese.


Reviews (5)

179 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 26
  • 4 star values: 57
  • 3 star values: 60
  • 2 star values: 30
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
Incredible dish... i have made it numerous times.. the lemon rind cuts the heaviness of the cream and bacon to create a perfect combination.
Rating: 5 stars
We've made this numerous times and loved it. We also added chicken and mushrooms to the recipe, and a bit of cream cheese to the mixture and it's one of our favorite recipes now! Lots of room to experiment with this recipe.
Rating: 4 stars
I like to add a bit of red pepper flakes along with the garlic. It gives a little kick to the taste. I have also added juice from half a lemon to the cream, egg, and cheese mix, rather than lemon zest at the end. Tastes delicious!
Rating: Unrated
My wife and I live in a little town just north of Rome where they take food very seriously, in particular the Cucina Romana. One thing we've noticed is food is subjective, it's nothing more than nostalgia and availability. Guanciale/Pancetta/bacon/Pecorino/Parmigiano it doesn't matter, just use what best that's available to you. We wrote a piece about the origins of Crabonara if you don't mind http://viamedina.kitchen/blog/2015/6/19/a-concise-history-of-carbonara
Rating: Unrated
I have made this using several different recipes, and Martha's is by far the easiest, and most delicious.