The Perfect Spaghetti Carbonara

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If you love Cacio e Pepe then I have the most Perfect Spaghetti Carbonara coming your way!! This creamy cheesy pasta dish will forever have a place in my heart

Spaghetti Carbonara from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Spaghetti Carbonara is one of my favorite dishes of all times. It's right up there with Cacio e Pepe and I will order it every single day when in Italy. I've been perfecting my recipe ever since Thomas and I got back from Rome! It's so simple, but OMG it's everything. Grab some spaghetti and some eggs, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, pancetta and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and you're ready to roll. It's an old recipe from culinary school that I dug up and I couldn't be more excited! 

It's creamy and peppery and cheesy and it's exactly what I want after a long day! Plus it takes only minutes to whip up!! Follow the directions to a T so you have the perfect results! It's quite simple but there are a few tricks so keep reading...

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Eggs – Make sure these are at room temperature!
  • Pecorino Romano and Parmesan Cheese – The more the merrier! And either buy them in a block and grate yourself. Or get the freshly shredded kind from the cheese monger. If you buy the kind that comes in the refrigerated section in a plastic bag, it won't melt as well as the freshly shredded varieties.
  • Pancetta – We need plenty of this! I like it cut into roughly ½ chunks as it will get smaller as it crisps up.
  • Salt & Peper – Duh.
  • Spaghetti – Traditional carbonara is made with Spaghetti. Either fresh or boxed is totally fine!

How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara

Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a large braiser or dutch oven over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté until the fat just renders, and it's crispy.

Step 3: Remove from heat and stir in the pasta.

Step 4: Stir in the egg slurry and let the residual heat from cooking the pancetta slowly warm the eggs.

Step 5: If you need to thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water, add a few tablespoons at a time until desired consistency.

Spaghetti Carbonara from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Tips and Tricks

  • If you saw my video on Instagram, you'll notice I used fresh pasta! If you have access to fresh spaghetti, grab it!! It feels even more authentic like you're IN Italy!! If you can't find any, don't sweat it!!
  • Making the egg slurry and whisking those ingredients together until they are really well combined is a pro tip. Don't skimp the mixing here.
  • Reserving some of the pasta water before draining your pasta is helpful if you need to thin out the final consistency of the dish. Use a few tablespoons at a time until you have the desired consistency.
  • Use a large braiser like the one you always see on my instagram to make the pancetta crispy!! Then make sure to kill the heat before adding slurry otherwise you'll scramble your eggs.
  • The residual heat from the braiser is what cooks the egg slurry and makes it creamy!
Spaghetti Carbonara from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

FAQ's

Is carbonara just raw eggs?

Carbonara is perhaps one of the most perfect roman pasta dishes made with eggs, cheese (parmesan and pecorino), pancetta, and pepper. I'd like to think it's a cousin to Cacio e Pepe

How is carbonara different from Alfredo?

Alfredo is a cream based pasta (uses heavy cream). Carbonara is an egg slurry based pasta (uses egg).

Is carbonara meant to be runny?

Runny - no. The egg slurry mixture will thicken ever so slightly when it's cooked using the residual heat from the cooking vessel you crisped the pancetta in.

Should there be cream in carbonara?

Nope - no cream needed! This is a pasta made with an egg slurry (see below) so no heavy cream is needed.

More Pasta Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today!

Spaghetti Carbonara from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

The Perfect Spaghetti Carbonara

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.8 from 12 votes
This creamy and peppery and cheesy pasta only takes minutes to whip up!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks at room temperature
  • cup grated Pecorino Romano plus more as needed
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta sliced into ⅓ inch square cubes
  • 12 ounces spaghetti

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large braiser or dutch oven over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté until the fat just renders, and it's crispy. Remove from heat and stir in the pasta, followed by the egg slurry and let the residual heat from cooking the pancetta slowly warm the eggs. If you need to thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water, add a few tablespoons at a time until desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately, garnishing with a bit of additional grated pecorino and pepper.

Notes

  • Cook spaghetti until al dente
  • Make sure to reserve some pasta water to add if needed for creaminess

Nutrition Information

Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 2mg
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21 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This is a new family favorite! I was nervous it wouldn't turn out right because it is so completely different than anything I have ever made. Happy to report I was wrong!! This recipe is simple... just read the directions, tips and go!

  2. 5 stars
    Tastes so authentic and honestly better than I rember when I had it in Rome! Thank you for such a delicious dinner!

  3. I am going to try your recipe and hope it works because every time I've attempted this dish, it comes out TOO DRY.

    Suggestions? Thanks.

  4. I can't believe EVERYONE loved this tonight. I have 3 kids and they are so picky. It's hard to make something that we all enjoy, and this was WIN! Thank you. 🙂

    1. I've made my own very similar version of this recipe using turkey bacon and its really great! Two slices and purchased from Trader Joes. Hope this helps.

  5. Carbonara is a win for everyone in my house, husband, kids, potentially the dog, and obviously myself so I can't believe I missed #CarbonaraDay - I suppose a belated celebration is in order. It would only be right...

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