The ultimate makeover: Spaghetti carbonara

The ultimate makeover: Spaghetti carbonara

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(27 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
Italian comfort food without the calories, this recipe is rich and creamy, yet just one third of the fat

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal527
  • fat16.1g
  • saturates6.3g
  • carbs70g
  • sugars4.4g
  • fibre5.2g
  • protein29.7g
  • salt1.63g


  • 85g parmesan



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

  • 2 eggs, preferably organic



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

  • 200g frozen peas
  • 350g spaghetti (we used De Cecco)
  • 1 tbsp 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…

  • 100g lean back bacon, fat removed, bacon chopped into small pieces
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful snipped chives


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Then get everything ready. Grate the cheese and beat the eggs in a bowl with a little pepper. Cook the peas in boiling water for 2-3 mins, drain and set aside.

  2. Cook the spaghetti to al dente following pack instructions. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large, deep frying or sauté pan. Fry the bacon for several mins until it starts to go crisp. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly until pale brown. Tip in the peas and if the spaghetti isn’t quite ready, keep warm over a very low heat.

  3. When the pasta is done, take the pan with the bacon in off the heat. Lift the spaghetti out of its pan with a pair of tongs and drop it into the frying pan with the garlic, bacon and peas. Mix most of the cheese into the eggs, keeping back a handful of cheese for sprinkling over each serving. Quickly pour in the eggs and cheese, lifting and stirring with the tongs so everything mixes well and the spaghetti gets coated. Ladle in some more of the pasta water, enough to coat the spaghetti and create a bit of sauce in the pan.

  4. Spoon or twirl the pasta into shallow serving bowls using a long pronged fork. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the reserved cheese, some snipped chives and a grating of black pepper.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Paul Snell's picture
Paul Snell
17th Oct, 2019
Would be better without the peas, used less pasta than it said, and needs more bacon than specified.
21st Apr, 2018
Nothing wrong with low fat recipes, but to call this Carbonara (a dish where so much of the flavour comes from the wonderful fat in the pancetta, or better yet guanciale) is like comparing a veggie sawdust sausage with a properly made free range banger.
5th Aug, 2017
I made this with my six year old Bobbie, we both loved it and had clean bowls, but he is a dog haha!
2nd Jan, 2016
Brilliant recipe. Very simple. I used left over gammon. Everyone had second helpings. Will definitely do again.
16th May, 2014
This is very good and quick to make!!
11th Jan, 2014
Quick, tasty and relatively low fat. First time I've made a carbonara and I will definitely be ma ing this again. Didn't bother with the peas or chives.
10th Oct, 2013
Added a tablespoon of half fat creme fraiche to make it a little creamier, skipped the chives (can't stand them!), and added a good grating of nutmeg to the egg mixture - Simple and absolutely fab
16th Jul, 2012
Added mushrooms and used parsley instead of chives, as that is all we had - delicious! Even our 6 year old enjoyed it.
15th Jul, 2012
Leave out the peas, add a little left over cooked chicken in small chunks and some mushrooms. Serve with a salad. Lovely - everyone I have made this for loves it, and wont be going back to using cream.
26th May, 2012
My daughter who is 9 made fresh spaghetti to go with this recipe, it was time consuming but worth all her effort the taste was yummy!


Alison Thewsey
28th Feb, 2015
Can this be made in advance of a party and then reheated?
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