This Spaghetti Carbonara is your answer to comfort food cravings that can only be satisfied by a bowl of pasta. A perfect harmony of bacon, cheese, garlic sauce wraps around spaghetti for a simple, yet gloriously tasting dinner. All this in only 20 minutes and with only 5 ingredients.
Carbonara is one of those pasta recipes that is satisfying in so many ways. First pasta, probably one the top comfort food ever! Followed closely by bacon – heck yeah, cheese – whoohoo, creamy eggs – yes please, and garlic – homerun! Who wouldn’t look at this glossy, creamy, bacon, parmesan pasta and not want to dive right in? Straight from the skillet onto your plate and served with extra grated cheese on the side.
This Recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara Calls For:
Spaghetti: Other types of pasta such as penne, ziti and fettuccine will are also nice variations of pasta carbonara. I personally like to use spaghetti because it gives me so many more nooks and crannies for the creamy sauce and bits of bacon to be in every bite.
Thick Cut Bacon: The thicker cut of bacon, when diced, makes for the ideal sized pieces so every mouthful has bacon it it. Pancetta also works well but I feel like more of us have bacon on hand most of the time – at least I do 😉
Minced Garlic: Not all recipes for carbonara call for garlic, but I personally just love garlic in this recipe. Go ahead and try it with garlic first and see if you love it too. If you want to save time, use 2 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar.
Eggs: I use a combination of eggs and egg yolks which is like the classic carbonara. You can omit the egg yolks, only use whole eggs and swirl in a little cream to give it the consistency you desire. Don’t be concerned that you will have uncooked eggs. The eggs do get cooked well enough with the hot water and pasta. More importantly follow the steps so that the eggs don’t start to cook before they turn into the sauce.
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese: This cheese is the real deal! The cheese the has earned the official title of Parmigiano-Reggiano because of the quality of the cheese. A shredded parmesan cheese will work just as well also and is more budget-friendly.
If you are all for making this comforting Spaghetti Carbonara, here you go!
Spaghetti Carbonara (Simple Comfort Food)
- Kosher salt
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 10 oz thick cut bacon or pancetta, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp bacon fat and discard remainder. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove skillet from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining, set aside 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Whisk ¼ cup reserved pasta water into egg mixture,
- Transfer pasta to the skillet and toss with the bacon fat. Very slowly stream egg mixture in skillet, tossing constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and egg is thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta water, one tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve garnished with parsley, if using.
- Thick cut of bacon, when diced, makes for the ideal sized pieces so every mouthful has bacon it it. Pancetta also works well.
- You can omit the egg yolks, if preferred, and stir in a little heavy cream to give it the consistency you desire.
- Work quickly to stir the egg mixture into the warm skillet to make sure the eggs don't start to cook before the sauce forms.
- Feel free to use shredded parmesan cheese in place of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.
If you liked this dish you may also like to try my Super Easy Baked Ziti – Ready in Under 30 Minutes