Learn to make spaghetti carbonara

Learn to make spaghetti carbonara

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(24 ratings)

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Cooking time

Cook: 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Master this hearty pasta dish and you’ll never be stuck for a quick supper

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
734
protein
33g
carbs
75g
fat
36g
saturates
15g
fibre
3g
sugar
4g
salt
2.95g

Ingredients

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked pancetta cubes or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g Grana padano or parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

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Method

  1. Cook the spaghetti. Bring a large, deep pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook, following pack instructions. Aim for 'al dente': cooked, but retaining some bite in the middle. Take a few strands out of the water with a spaghetti spoon or tongs 1-2 mins before the end of the cooking time and bite into it. Repeat until you think it is properly cooked.
  2. Fry the pancetta. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, tip in the pancetta or streaky bacon. Fry over a medium heat until the fat in the meat has melted down into the pan and the meat has turned lightly golden. Be careful not to crisp the pancetta too much; it will be cooked a little bit more later on in the recipe. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Prepare the sauce. Crack 2 of the eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk from the third egg: gently crack the side of the shell and, using both hands, slowly open it into two halves over a separate bowl - you want to keep the yolk in one of the halves. Tip the yolk from one shell half to the other and repeat until all the egg white has fallen into the bowl below, taking care not to crack the yolk on any rough shell edges. Tip the yolk in with the other eggs and beat together, along with the cream, the cheese and some seasoning.
  4. Combine the dish. Add garlic to the pancetta and return frying pan to hob. Fry over high heat for 1 min or until garlic is cooked and pancetta warmed through. Meanwhile, drain spaghetti. Tip back into the hot saucepan off the heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta, followed by hot pancetta, garlic, any fat and oils. Toss quickly and thoroughly with spaghetti spoon or tongs. Mix until it has thickened to a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve with extra cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2006

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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abcdefghijord's picture

Made this last night after having a great smoked salmon carbonara in Paris. I substituted the pancetta/bacon with the salmon but added that at the last minute and used tagliatelle instead of spaghetti. Also didn't like the idea of using cream, so used half fat crème fraîche and didn't notice a difference; we absolutely loved it. I was a little confused about the egg steps since I already knew how to separate the yolk from the white but figured out the sauce needs 2 whole eggs with an extra yolk in the end. It turned out great and will most definitely be making this again, my partner was absolutely in love with the taste. Will use the "My Fitness Pal" to track the correct amount of calories with the substituted ingredients; hopefully the crème fraîche and lack of pancetta/bacon reduced it somewhat but you have to indulge sometimes otherwise life would be completely boring! :)

jax7's picture

My daughter made this for supper yesterday - delicious! As good as any I've ever had in a restaurant. Bit more sauce than the pasta needed - perhaps increase the spaghetti quantity slightly.

lilmiss18's picture

This Recipe is amazing! So quick and easy and definitely a family Favourite!
I used Pancetta for a more smokier and meatier taste. It was Amazing.

katiehphoto's picture
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A super recipe! It's a shame the calorie intake is a whopping 734 per portion!

lilmiss18's picture

yea, amazing!
Cook this all the time as a quick and easy Dinner and I'm only 13! :)

whats4t's picture
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a quick and easy way of separating eggs is to crack egg onto a saucer or small plate hold an eggcup over the yolk and let the white slide into another container or add to the other ingredients.

whats4t's picture
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a quick and easy way of separating eggs is to crack egg onto a saucer or small plate hold an eggcup over the yolk and let the white slide into another container or add to the other ingredients.

wikster's picture
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I too know that "proper carbonara" doesn't contain cream, this is a really nice variant. We're a household of garlic lovers, so an extra clove was added -- yum! :D

dirtydancing's picture
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Cooked it tonight. It was an easy follow recipe and very tasty. I added chicken that I lightly fried and seasoned. Will be having again very soon.

roberama's picture
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This is a great recipe and very easy to make, perfect for a snack for one as i'm usually only cooking for myself, just halved the ingredients as i tend to eat enough for two anyway!

lynnebird's picture
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Fantastic recipe.
We don't like garlic in anything, but not including it did not spoil the delicious taste. I have tried tagliatelli pasta instead of spaghetti which, in fact, I prefer.
Very quick and easy to make.

iruz88's picture
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Wow.... :) !!!

klloyd9825's picture
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Easy, inexpensive and has been asked for again! Was yummy!

simplyremy's picture
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Actually dougie, it says at the top it serves 4.

Delicious recipe!

canuck's picture
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visuals a waste of space. does not say how many portions your making. Overall receipe fine and straight forward

jlhopgood's picture
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Easy to make and full of flavour - a hit!

kcaj01's picture
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I added chicken mushrooms peppers to the bacon when frying and it really went well with the dish. Tried it out on my sister last week and using it for a date 2moro night it was that tastey.

Jack (o;

kcaj01's picture
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I added chicken mushrooms peppers to the bacon when frying and it really went well with the dish. Tried it out on my sister last week and using it for a date 2moro night it was that tastey.

Jack (o;

pinkystan's picture
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michaels1962 could you maybe share a traditional recipe then? Save all us heathens from doing it wrong (but still enjoying it?)

mrmjs1962's picture
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traditional carbonara does NOT contain cream

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