Pasta alla Carbonara

pronounced: car-boh-NAH-rah
makes aprox. 4 servings

  • 1 lb spaghetti, rigatoni or other pasta
  • ¼ cup cream (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb pancetta, bacon, or prosciutto coarsely diced
  • 1 medium onion (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped (optional)
  • 1 package frozen baby peas (optional)
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper - to taste
  • Freshly grated pecorino romano, parmesan or asiago cheese.


1.Fill a large pot with cold water and add a handful or so of Kosher salt. Stir and taste; it should taste like seawater. Cover the pot and heat the water until it comes to a rolling boil.
2.Add the diced bacon or other to the pan and cook slowly over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, drain excess fat.
3.Add diced onion and garlic if using, cook until golden.
4.Drop the pasta into pot and cook according to package instructions, about 8 to 11 minutes or until 'al dente' - or tender but still firm to the bite.
5.Add frozen peas to pasta water during last few minutes if using.
6.While the pasta cooks, combine the eggs, cheese, cream (if using), and fresh cracked pepper in a bowl and beat with a whisk or fork until completely mixed.
7.Drain pasta reserving some of the cooking water on the side.
8.Immediately toss with the egg and cream mixture, bacon, onion and garlic.
9.Add a little of the cooking water if too dry. Serve right away, with additional grated cheese if desired.


Substitute bacon with crumbled chicken or vegetarian sausage.
Make a cream sauce with onion, diced prosciutto or cooked ham to make "Pasta alla Papalina - the Pope's pasta.
Add shrimp and blanched cut asparagus or even green beans.

Copyleft (2010) The Budget Gourmet

0 Responses to “Pasta alla Carbonara”:

TBG's Spicy Music Selection

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones