Two-step carbonara

Two-step carbonara

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 2 mins Cook: 12 mins


Serves 4
The classic quick, creamy sauce - but made without cream

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal575
  • fat24g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre0g
  • protein28g
  • salt2.11g
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  • 350g spaghetti or linguine
  • 140g pack diced pancetta, or smoked streaky bacon



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 2 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 egg, plus 4 yolks



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 50g Parmesan, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, fry pancetta in oil in a frying pan for a few mins until golden and crisp. Add garlic, fry for 1 min, then turn off the heat. Briefly whisk egg and yolks with most of the Parmesan and some seasoning.

  2. Drain pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add eggs and a tbsp of cooking water, then mix until pasta is coated and creamy. The heat from the pasta will gently cook the sauce. Stir in the pancetta and garlic then serve, topped with the remaining Parmesan.

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Comments (26)

BoBo's picture

I made this so many times. Brilliant recipe! I use bacon instead of pancetta and sometimes substitute parmesan with cheddar. It also works with any pasta.

CharlotteRyle's picture

Was pleased to find a recipe without cream but was disappointed in the end. Why on earth have so much egg yolk with the already rich and calorific bacon, pasta and Parmesan? Have some subtlety! I recommend less yolk but be careful it does not turn into scrambled egg. I've had it that way, less calories, less sickly, far more delicious

Justin L's picture

This is one of the worst recipes for carbonara I've seen. Carbonara without black pepper, is not carbonara. That's an essential ingredient.

Justin L's picture

This is one of the worst recipes for carbonara I've seen. Carbonara without black pepper, is not carbonara. That's an essential ingredient.

deepeewastaken's picture

I was making this just for myself and it's difficult to know how to quarter 1 egg and 4 yolks. Is the whole egg even essential?

I tried using 1 egg and 1 yolk, with 1 tbsp of cooking water as someone else suggested and it turned out way too runny. Tasted like cheesy egg yolk.

Would be good if GoodFood listed all of their recipes as "Serves 1", so it's simple to double/triple/quadruple up.

franwilks's picture

Brilliant recipe, I used sliced pancetta instead..
Very easy and quick

jaiken_554's picture

I really enjoyed this dish however, if i was to make just one change it would be to use no pasta as it tasted pure raw !!!!!

sixfootaliw's picture

Ok, maybe not an authentic carbonara, but it is very easy and very very tasty! It's a firm favourite with us!

vonone's picture

Made this for my son who loves carbonara - but had to use what I had in the fridge. Replaced pancetta with chorizio, used 1egg and two yolks and very mature chedar instead of parmisan and also a small onion. As suggested by other comments I added the meat mixture to linguine prior to egg and cheese. Delicious and so easy and absolutely no cream - bonus.

mylittletoni's picture

I made mine with Spagetti but I think Linguine would have been better. I also added a small onion and agree that this was a good addition. I think I would add more liquid next time too as it was a bit dry and stodgy otherwise a nice dish.

andylangfor's picture

my daughter needed egg whites, so I found this quick recipe to use some yokes......FANTASTIC, the whole family loved it and it's so easy. It does need a side salad or similar. Thank You

yummy-mummy-to-be's picture

Absolute genious!!!! i've never really liked carbonara before just because whenever i have had it people have either made it with a white sauce (which i can't stand) or made it too creamy. This is perfect you really dont need cream. If i'm just making it for myself i use 1 egg and 1 egg yolks and i go by that for each person if i am cooking for more. I too add some onion and mushrooms to bulk it out. Be careful not to add too much of the pasta water as it can make the sauce dissapear into a water texture at the bottom of the bowl.

drhshires's picture

Great recipe, made it with basic store cupboard ingredients when I hadn't planned supper in advance one night. I added some frozen peas to the last few minutes of the pasta boiling, which I think give it a little extra something. I have added this recipe to my binder and am sure it is going to become a regular favourite of mine!

lmayc666's picture

was quick and tasty..and was informed by my italian friend that this is how it should be done!

imabadpixie's picture

Actaully i had never tried carbonara before (despite it being my husbands favourite pasta dish)... so this was a first cooking and tasting for me. Thought this recipe was really easy and very quick - great for afterwork and guilt free with half the calories and sat fat than other cream based recipes. I dont think i added enough water to the mix BUT still was delicious. I also fried half an onion along with the bacon for a bit of bulk which worked well. smiles all round :)

yelvy1980's picture

really great and quick dish... added mushrooms to it and it was perfect. used tagliatelle and it worked really well.

eexley's picture

brilliant - made it at least 5 times - so simple

tests just like it did in Rome and much better than our local italian restaurant

peejay13's picture

Easy, very tasty and very authentic. That it's healthier than my usual recipe is an added bonus!!!

forestnuter's picture

Great quick meal that requires no forward planning. I slowly fired some onion to release that sweat oniony flavour and added that too which worked a treat!

mrdugal's picture

Nice and easy, I think it's better without cream.


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Tips (1)

tartanseer's picture

Just use the yolk (I stick in 3), works every time!