classic carbonara in a white bowl
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Classic Carbonara | How to Make Carbonara

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This Classic Carbonara Recipe is a rich creamy pasta with salty bits of panchetta (or bacon)

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classic carbonara in a white bowl

It was extremely hot the day we ventured to the Coliseum in Rome. My daughter’s cheeks were rosy as ever and by the time we entered the place we both had thrown our hair up in buns. But nothing, I mean nothing seemed to work to keep us cool.

We bought several bottles of cold water from the merchants standing right outside and I poured them down the back of our necks which offered some brief relief.

I had no idea that in Rome, the summer heat might say 84 degrees and being a California girl, this seemed perfect. But not here, it’s a sweltering dry heat that bakes you.

We grabbed a cab and in the best broken Italian I  could muster I exclaimed “Ristorante il condizionatore d’aria!” It may have been our sweaty, red faces that helped him understand me but off we went. 

Mother and dauther standing at the Coliseum
Roman Coliseum 2019

Within blocks we were there. We went inside a small cafe and sat in a downstairs basement style room. Neither of us cared a bit about the tiny room as we sat there happy as could be enjoying the cool air. I ordered us two bowls of carbonara, a classic roman dish.

Being a classic roman dish, they serve it everywhere. But each carbonara you have will be slightly different. Classic or not.

That classic carbonara was one of the best meals we had while there and surprisingly one of the easiest you could make. That’s the best part about food. Good quality ingredients thrown together can make some of the very best dishes you’d have eaten. It was this dish that saved the day for us.

Only by trial and error, I have been able to recreate that taste here in my Cali home. Far away from the heat enjoying the flavors of a great city. 

What You’ll Need To Make Classic Carbonara:

1 lb (454g) spaghetti

2 cups (290g) of diced pancetta preferably but bacon is a great substitute

1 cup (80g) grated parmesan or pecorino romano (I have used both)

4 (60g) egg yolks

Salt 

1 cup (237g) pasta water (saved from spaghetti pot)

Directions:

Dice panchetta (or bacon) into small bite sized slices. Heat a skillet and fry until golden. Set aside.

Fill a large stock pot with water and salt it well. Place lid on and heat to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook as directed by package.

Seperate egg yolks by cracking them over a bowl and transfering the yolk between shells until the whites seperates into the bowl. Have another cup handy to drop the yolk in.

Save the egg whites for another use later.

While the pasta boils, take a laddle and save 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.

When ready, drain the pasta. Then pour it back into the stock pot.

Add about ⅓ cup of the pasta water to the top of the noodles, a bit of the grated cheese and half the egg yolk. Stir it around until a light yellow creamy consistency then add the remaining water and yolk. Stir again.

Add the panchetta to the pot along with the remainder of the cheese.

The sauce should be a creamy consistency and mixed thoroughly with the pancetta when serving.

Garnish pasta with more parm if desired.


If you try this recipe and love it, I would love it if you would come back and give it 5 stars!

classic carbonara in a white bowl

Classic Carbonara

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A classic Roman pasta with salty panchetta and a creamy sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454g) spaghetti
  • 2 cups (290g) of diced pancetta preferably but bacon works fine too
  • 1 cup (80g) grated parmesan or pecorino romano (I have used both)
  • 4 (60g) egg yolks
  • Salt
  • 1 cup (237g) pasta water
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Dice panchetta (or bacon) into small bite sized slices.
  2. Heat a skillet and fry until golden. Set aside.
  3. Fill a large stock pot with water and salt it well. Place lid on and heat to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook as directed by package.
  4. Seperate egg yolks by cracking them over a bowl and transfering the yolk between shells until the whites seperates into the bowl. Have another cup handy to drop the yolk in. Save the egg whites for another use later.
  5. While the pasta boils, take a laddle and save 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
  6. When the pasta is ready drain and then add it back into the stock pot.
  7. Add about ⅓ cup of the pasta water to the top of the noodles, a bit of the grated cheese and half the egg yolk.
  8. Stir it around until a light yellow creamy consistency then add the remaining water and yolk. Stir again.
  9. Add the panchetta to the pot along with the remainder of the cheese. The sauce should be a creamy consistency and mixed thoroughly with the pancetta when serving.
  10. Garnish pasta with more parm if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 14g

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