Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Pasta, pancetta, garlic, Italian cheeses, and white wine. Let’s call this STOP PAYING A TON OF MONEY TO GO OUT FOR GOOD PASTA! And forget about good pasta, we’re making great pasta. Great pasta dishes start with great pasta though. I often make my own, but spaghetti and I don’t get along that well fresh. With the attachment that I have it always comes out stuck together… I just can’t get the flour right I guess.

Any way, what I’m getting at here is, when you’re making a show-stopper of a pasta dish, and one that isn’t laden down with a heavy sauce, spend the extra couple of bucks at the grocery store if you can to buy a better brand of dry pasta. Look for one with as few ingredients as possible. This is all you want to see under ingredients: semolina flour (durum wheat), water, and egg. If that’s all you see on the box of dried pasta, you’re in for a good time.

This pasta, it’s a good time.

It was so good that I went back for seconds twice. It was also both Oliver and Bo approved, something that very rarely happens in this house.

Enough jabbering right, let’s get to it!

Here’s what we need: eggs, pecornio romano, parmigiano reggiano, salt, pepper, olive oil, white wine, garlic, pancetta, good quality dried spaghetti, and fresh parsley


Grate your cheese. You’ll need 1/3 cup of each.



Chop up your parsley and set aside.


Get five cloves of garlic and peel them.


Slice the peeled cloves as thin as you can. this is what you’re going for.


I really, REALLY, love garlic.


Throw the spaghetti into a pot of boiling water and cook according to the package. I like mine just a little past al dente.


Put the cheese and eggs together into a bowl.


Give it a good stir with a fork.


In a large pan or skillet get some olive oil heating up.


Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to crisp.


Oh that looks so good.


Add the garlic.


Stir it in and cook for about a minute, just long enough for it to start to soften. Now, a bit of fat in the pan is ok, but if you had really fatty pancetta like I did this time, you should sop some of it up with some paper towels now, leaving just a couple of tablespoons in the pan.


Add the white wine, give it a stir, then let it boil down until reduced by about half.


At this point you’re pasta should be just about ready so drain it off (always reserve a bit of the water when cooking pasta in case your sauce ends up too thick).


Put the pasta into a bowl and add the cheese mixture.


Toss it together really well. It’s important that every strand of pasta is well coated.


Add the pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and garlic and give it a good toss again.


Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper, then give it one more good toss.


Plate it up (I’m a big fan of family style whenever I can), and top with some of that parsley. I mean, you just can’t resist it.

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So please, the next time you’re having the in-laws over, or you feel like a nice candle lit dinner, don’t go out. Make this and be amazed at just how great a pasta dish can be at home. The best part? It really is so, SO easy too. I promise!

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Ok, a little closer, just this once.

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Here’s your printable:

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6 servings

Spaghetti alla Carbonara


  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 500 g good quality dried spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound pancetta, cut into cubes
  • 5 cloves peeled garlic, very thinly sliced
  • ⅔ cup dry white wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking for about 9 minutes until just past al dente.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cheeses and eggs together well and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until just starting to soften.
  4. If required, sop up some of the excess fat in the pan, leaving about 3 tablespoons.
  5. Add the wine and let cook down until reduced to half.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain and then place in a large bowl. Add the cheese mixture and toss well, ensuring that all the pasta is evenly coated.
  7. Add the pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and garlic. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper, then toss well.
  8. Garnish with parsley and serve.



    • says

      Thank you! I’m just trying to find a reason to make it again… My Mom is coming over to see the kids Thursday, I’m thinking that’s a good enough one!

  1. says

    wow. this is the 2nd carbonara recipe i saw today and now i’m CRAVING it. What have you done?!? beautiful photos for the step-by-step instructions. I can’t even imagine how wonderful this would taste like!

  2. maria vittoria says

    if i can give you an advice, in italy we use only pecorino and we never put garlic in the carbonara.
    and the pepper goes together with the pecorino and eggs mixture, then if you like you can obviously add some more at the end.
    we also don’t put the wine together with the pancetta!
    anyways your recipe looks really good!

    • says

      Thanks Maria! I’m going to have to try it the traditional way now! I love finding stuff like this out. I’ll be hard pressed to not add garlic though :) It’s a bit of a family problem, we put garlic in almost everything!

    • says

      Hey Jay! In dishes like these the eggs get “cooked” by the heat of the pasta. You’re right / smart to question it though, because it doesn’t cook them to the same degree that we’d be used to for say breakfast. This is why dishes like this, with partially cooked eggs, isn’t recommended for pregnant chicks (same goes for good ceaser dressing). As long as you’re not pregnant you’re good to go with the recipe. If you are really nervous though, just buy the carton of liquid eggs (looks like a milk carton), where they’re already mixed and pasteurized, then you don’t have any of the (very, very small) risk of food-born illness. From everything I’ve heard you can’t taste the difference between regular eggs and liquid eggs in dishes like this, or baked dishes. Hope that helps!

  3. Deb says

    Tried this recipe for a small (6 ppl) dinner party last night and it was unbelievably good! Did most of the prep work earlier in the day so when our friends arrived, I needed very little time in the kitchen. Even our picky, plain meat & potato friend had seconds. It was sheer yumminess.

  4. Mia says

    About doing your own pasta… I know you don’t specify a recipe, but I find that 100g of ’00’ grade pasta flour to 1 egg works every time. It’s a bit weird to work with, but if you mix it well and then give it a good knead it should yield a beautiful, yellow, smooth and elastic dough. And with a pasta maker, you should have no trouble rolling it out thinly enough.

    One thing to mention, though, is that you want to add as little flour as absolutely possible while rolling it out and cutting it. It ensures they stay lovely and moist. I also wouldn’t give them more than a couple of minutes in an already-boiling pan of salted water with a bit of oil.

    Of course, if this is what you usually do but it just doesn’t work out for spaghetti, I apologise for the rant!

    And I know what you mean about the garlic, it’s something I find difficult to give up on, but carbonara could really make it pay off. Something else I do is stick in some of the parsley for the last couple of minutes on the heat, just before you’re ready to add the pasta to the pancetta. Those extra couple of minutes actually frying the parsley together with your pancetta juices bring out some of its fresh flavour.

    Otherwise, this looks really good!

    • says

      Rant any time you want to! I haven’t tried making spaghetti for a loooong time, but it’s mostly because I’ve been lazy. I have a cutter for it, but it’s tube like and unless I add a ton of flour to the cutter they stick together (and I don’t want to add all that flour), so I’ve just been buying spaghetti. You’re absolutely right though, I just just use my roller to get it nice and thin and then cut it with a knife. Nothing beats fresh pasta. My laziness means that I’ve been making my dough in the food processor too (another no-no to true pasta makers, lol). I’ve been adding a bit of olive oil to mine too, but next time I’ll just try the egg and flour like you suggest. Thank you!

    • says

      Awesome! I love hearing feedback on the dishes, and more then that I love finding new blogs to follow! I’m so glad you liked it :)


  1. […] "Pasta, pancetta, garlic, Italian cheeses, and white wine. Let’s call this STOP PAYING A TON OF MONEY TO GO OUT FOR GOOD PASTA! And forget about good pasta, we’re making great pasta. Great pasta dishes start with great pasta though. I often make my own, but spaghetti and I don’t get along that well fresh. With the attachment that I have it always comes out stuck together… I just can’t get the flour right I guess."  […]

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