This carbonara recipe is creamy, decadent and oh, so good. A rich, creamy sauce with egg yolks and parmesan cheese mix into hot pasta, bacon, shallot, garlic and black pepper for a quick and easy dinner that is ready to impress anyone.
*This post has been updated with better content, better photos, and a clearer recipe. Thanks y’all!*
If I don’t know what to make for dinner – whether it be a random weeknight, for a small dinner party, or if it’s my turn to cook for date night- I’ll make this pasta carbonara.
This inauthentic carbonara has been online since 2015 (omg!) and I got plenty of hate mail about exactly how inauthentic it is. So mad about the garlic, the cream, the shallot, the pepper, the parsley.
So I have updated the photos and recipe.
To add more cream, garlic, pepper, and parsley. Haters are never going to get me down! Besides, too many of y’all have loved my recipe over the years to ever let it go.
And…I also have an authentic carbonara recipe. To appease everyone. Because haters need love, too.
And I have nothing against the authentic recipe, it’s just as delicious. It’s just not as creamy and decadent as this recipe, which is full of shallots, garlic, bacon, cream…I mean, when you really want to go all out on a pasta dish but not spend a lot of time on it, this carbonara recipe is the one.
Make this pasta carbonara a full meal by serving with:
How to make pasta carbonara
Making this creamy pasta carbonara recipe is easy. First, grab some bacon or pancetta, which is like Italian bacon, and throw it in a pan. Add your aromatics.
When you have the bacon sizzling with the aroma of garlic and onion, everyone will come flocking, it just smells so inviting.
Then toss your cooked pasta into the pan, and pour the egg-cream sauce on, stirring quickly to ensure the eggs don’t cook at the bottom of your hot pan, and add pepper and parsley and serve with a whole lotta parmesan.
See how easy that is? Cook your bacon while your pasta is boiling, and whisk your sauce together while they are going, and you’ll have the most decadent pasta dish in under 15 minutes.
Is pasta carbonara safe?
The hot pasta helps cook the egg yolks as you toss the pasta in the egg and cheese sauce, which melts the cheese and thickens up the egg yolks. I 100% suggest using fresh eggs (eggs that you bought this week from the grocer, I mean. You don’t have to own a farm.) so that you have peace of mind. The fresher the egg, the less likely for bacteria.
An interesting fact: the dangerous bacteria that causes sickness is mostly found in the egg white, not the egg yolks, which is why egg yolks are often eaten served poached within egg white, soft in boiled eggs, or raw on tartare. Since this recipe only uses the egg yolks, and the egg yolks are gently cooked by the hot pasta, it is safe to consume.
Craving some pasta? I got the hook up:
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- 12 oz pasta, spaghetti, angel hair, bucatini, preferred
- 1 cup diced pancetta OR thick cut bacon, diced (about 5-6 slices of bacon)
- 1 small yellow onion OR 2 shallots, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup (118 mL) heavy cream
- 2/3 cup (53 g) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 4-5 egg yolks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Boil a large pot of water with some salt. Add pasta to the pot once you are in the middle of cooking your bacon to make sure they are ready by time the bacon is cooked.
- In a large non-stick pan over medium heat, add your diced bacon/pancetta. As the fat renders, add your shallots to cook in the bacon fat until the shallots become soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes, and bacon is done to your liking. Turn off heat and add garlic, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn.
- While bacon cooks, whisk together the heavy cream, grated parmesan cheese, and fresh egg yolks in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- When pasta is ready, remove it from the water and into the pan. Then add the cream-egg mixture and mix together well, making sure that the sauce coats all the pasta and doesn't stay on the pan, otherwise the heat from the pan can cook the egg solid. Toss well to melt the cheese down into the sauce and onto the pasta. Taste, then season to your liking with salt, pepper and parsley.
- Serve your pasta carbonara immediately while still hot. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, if desired.
Leftovers taste good, but don't reheat well in the microwave (eggs will cook).So splash some cream into the leftovers and reheat in a saucepan on low heat, stirring to warm up the leftover carbonara.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.