Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This is one of the first dishes I ever ate – or I should probably say, experienced – when I moved to Italy as a tweenager.  Since then it has been my all time favorite pasta dish. I can’t seem to get enough. Evah! It’s creamy, luxurious and sexy. Yes, it’s sexy!

I was told that Spaghetti alla Carbonara originated from the Italian coal miners and their need for a hearty quick meal being it was easy to prepare with just a few basic ingredients after a long day’s work. The recipe varies slightly from region to region, as do most Italian dishes. This recipe is the way I was taught and of course the one I think that is the best ; ) Yes, I’m biased and that’s okay!

It’s as simple to make as it is delizioso! It takes about 10 minutes {who can beat that} It’s a dish that some people find tricky but other than using quality ingredients {no skimping on the Parmigiano Reggiano} the secret is simply in the TIMING. Cooking your pasta and sauce so that they’re ready at the same time is crucial to the success of this dish. If you take a little time at the beginning and prep your ingredients (grate your cheese, have your pancetta chopped, your garlic minced, etc.) you’ll be fine!

If you can’t get your hands on pancetta you can substitute bacon but do try to give the Pancetta a whirl. No need to add in any additional salt because there will be enough salty goodness from the Parmigano Reggiano and of course the pancetta.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of my go-to dishes. It has three of my favorite ingredients: pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano & garlic! LOL Which I’m sure you’ll quickly come to learn about me. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!



Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Total Time 0:00


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta - diced
  • 4 large cloves of fresh garlic -minced
  • 3 large eggs -room temperature - beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Place a large pasta pot with enough water onto boil. Season generously with salt. Once water comes to a boil, add spaghetti & stir so that the pasta separates. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. WHILE the spaghetti is cooking, in a large pan over medium heat add olive oil and cook pancetta/bacon until fairly crisp (about 3-4 minutes). Reduce heat to low, add in garlic and cook for another minute (you don't want your garlic to burn).
  3. WHILE the bacon/garlic are cooking crack your eggs into a small bowl & add 1 cup of cheese. Mix together and set aside.
  4. Drain pasta well and add to bacon mixture. Is is IMPORTANT that your pasta is HOT when adding it to the mixture. Toss well (I find two forks or tongs work really well for this). Take off of heat.
  5. To your plating bowl, add cheese & egg mixture. Transfer the pasta to plating bowl and toss well to combine. If you find the mixture is too thick, you can thin it out with a little of the pasta water (remember you can always add more so add sparingly) Season well with pepper. Garnish with the remainder of your cheese.


0.0 rating



  1. 1

    Congrats on the blog, Paula. Everything looks great and I can’t wait to try the Carbonara recipe!

    Ciao ~

  2. 2

    I remember the first time I had spaghetti Carbonara (in the Fruili region) and I was blown away. I’ve never tried to make it myself bc I knew it would be a disappointing second to what I’d had there. But, maybe with this recipe, knowing it’s authentic, I’ll give it a shot.

  3. 3
    AMT /

    I remember the first time I had spaghetti Carbonara – in Warner Robins! : ) at your mom’s table. This is great! You are amazing! xo amt

  4. 4

    My children love Spaghetti alla Carbonara, we find it’s one of the best/quickest/easiest comfort foods around. And like you, I prefer to use bacon.

    I look forward to trying your other recipes and introducing my children to the foods of my childhood.

  5. 5

    Oh my gosh! Paula, this is soooo good. I made it for dinner tonight because I needed a quick and easy pasta dish. The directions are incredibly clear and easy very easy to follow. A great alternative to tomato sauce. You’ve done it again, lady. Baci!

  6. 6

    My all-time favorite but hard to find done properly at restaurants and all those warnings from my mother about raw eggs still ring in my ears! But now that you’ve reminded me (with a loving close-up of its creamy goodness), I think I’ll chance it!

  7. 7

    My husband and I just went to Italy, and I too, fell in love with this dish! I live in Scotland, and I’ve never found a restaurant here that does not add TONS of cream to it, which doesn’t entice me. So I’m very excited to try to make it for myself! Thanks again for another classic recipe!

  8. 8
    Debi Toews /


    What a great website! Love your pictures, that’s usually how I go about trying new receipes. If the picture makes my mouth water, I’ve got to try the receipe. I’ve already tried three of yours and loved them all. My Italian neighbor from Porcia taught me a different way to make carbonara but I love yours better and so did my family. Thanks so much!

  9. 9
    Bobbi Jo Madsen /

    I had some carbonara here at Paula’s. Oh, Yum!!!!! That is all I have to say. I love the flavors and it is so filling. I got the pleasure of watching Paula cook it too. So easy and wonderful. Yum, Yum, Yum!!!

  10. 10
    Christy Broxton /

    Just enjoyed this dish and it was made for me by the *fabulous* Paula of bell’alimento fame! Woot.

    Thanks for letting me hang out with you and eat all the delizioso food! I think I might even be able to make this after watching you make this.

  11. 11

    OK I woke up thinking about this dish and knew you would have a recipe………… are now a go to favorite………..thanks Paula!

    • 11.1

      Ah, you’re so sweet! This is my absolute fav pasta dish. I know I always say fav but this really is one! I could eat it everyday!

  12. 12

    I simply have to make this! Some time soon I will.

  13. 13

    When I just saw this picture I almost thoguht I could smell the bacon, no joke. Looks GREAT! I needed some, yesterday!

  14. 14

    Lovely recipe (I love spaghetti too!)! I just voted for you in the PFB challenge! Good luck! 😀

  15. 15

    Mmmmmm. Okay, this is just deadly delicious. So I got a pasta maker for Christmas (OH! And the Cucina cookbook! It’s, like, a deadly weapon! HUGE!). Anyway, I’m now seriously considering making pasta this weekend and using this carbonara recipe. I’ll have to twist DH’s arm, I’m sure… 😉

    • 15.1

      Sounds like you had a perfect Christmas! Homemade pasta is ah-mazing and such a treat! xoxo Happy New Year Jen!

  16. 16
    Rose in Ohio /

    I’ve made your recipe before, and the whole family loved it. So glad I picked up some pancetta this weekend!

  17. 17

    I seriously can not wait to make this! I was so fortunate to have been able to actually taste it *made by Paula*, and it was a meal I would eat if I knew it was going to be one of my last. I know, sounds extreme… but it was THAT good!

  18. 18
    Rina /

    I made this recipe with bacon yesterday and it was amazing! I love it so much I sent the link to this page to my friends. Thank you!

  19. 19
    Helen /

    How do the eggs cook without real heat? Raw egg illnesses are a concern of mine. Otherwise your recipe sound delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

    North Richland Hills, TX


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