Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!
Published September 4, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Make this delicious classic Roman Spaghetti Pasta carbonara in under 20 minutes using just 5 ingredients for the most amazing pasta recipe ever.
Homemade food from scratch isn’t hard, it just requires a little more time but the flavor that comes from it is far superior to anything you will buy at the store. Just like in my Spaghetti and the Best Meatballs ever recipe, this pasta carbonara is made with homemade pasta and an incredibly easy to make a creamy sauce that makes for the perfect easy to make weeknight or entertaining dinner.
What Is It
Pasta carbonara is 1 of the 4 classic Roman dishes consisting of crisp-cooked guanciale, egg yolks, pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper that is made into a sauce and tossed with spaghetti. Honestly, just like my Authentic Chicken Cacciatore Recipe and my Potato Gnocchi with Arrabbiata Sauce, this is super easy to make.
Steering from any of these ingredients will result in a variation of carbonara but it will not be the traditional version as it was intended to be made. With that being said I realize some ingredients may be hard to find, so I have seen the following ingredients swapped out:
- Guanciale or Pancetta (if neither then go to prosciutto or bacon)
- Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Reggiano
Is Carbonara Safe to Eat
People have been eating pasta carbonara for centuries, but I can understand the hesitance to eat it because it is safe to eat. If you are nervous, don’t be.
Using my methods of tempering the egg yolks with hot rendered guanciale fat as well as the boiling pasta water, and not-too-mention hot pasta from the boiling water, I feel confident saying that the eggs are brought up to a safe temperature for you to consume them.
However, if you are nervous in any way, I advise you to cook the egg yolks over a double boiler until they reach 165° internal temperature, without scrambling.
Does Pasta Carbonara Have Raw Eggs
Pasta carbonara does indeed use raw eggs, however it is just the yolk. Most people eat breakfast eggs at over-medium or less which indeed features a raw runny yolk.
The biggest unsafe part of an egg is the egg white, which is not used in this recipe and rest assured the egg yolks are brought up to temperature before eating.
Should It Have Cream in It?
Under no circumstance should a classic carbonara sauce have cream. Adding cream would completely delegitimize the classic and authentic nature of pasta carbonara. In other words, don’t use cream.
How To Make It
- 1. Add some olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
- 2. Cook the medium to large diced guanciale until crispy brown. Keep warm.
- 3. Whisk together egg yolks, pecorino romano cheese, and cracked pepper until combined.
- 4. Temper the eggs by whisking in ½ of the hot rendered guanciale fat in the pan.
- 5. Add the homemade spaghetti noodles to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes or until al dente.
- 6. Take ¼ cup of the hot pasta water and also slowly add it to the egg mixture bowl while constantly whisking to further bring it into safe temperatures.
- 7. Drain the pasta and add it to the egg mixture bowl.
- 8. Add the guanciale to the bowl as well.
- 9. Toss the pasta completely coating it in the sauce.
- 10. Finish with more pecorino romano and pepper.
How To Make The Sauce Extra Tasty
The absolute key to a tasty carbonara sauce is making sure to use guanciale and pecorino because of their natural high salt content. These two ingredients will go a long way to flavoring up this pasta carbonara.
In addition, it is important to taste it twice and season it once. Taste it, season it, taste it again, and if it needs more seasoning then keep following that process.
There are several carbonara combinations out there that add a few extra ingredients to personalize up this classic Roman dish.
- Spaghetti Squash
To make any of these simply add cooked chicken, shrimp, and steak to this carbonara recipe or simply swap the classic spaghetti noodles used for fettuccine or spaghetti squash.
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes of all time because it’s incredibly easy to make and booming with flavor!
Reheat and Storage
How to Reheat: To reheat this pasta, add ½ to ¾ cup of boiling chicken stock to a bowl along with this pasta and toss until hot. You can return to the stove to further heat. If you want, you can also microwave until hot.
Storing and Freezing: It will store in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 2 days, it will not freeze well, and I advise against it.
chef notes + tips
- Guanciale is cured pig jowls (cheeks) that often have spices and herbs incorporated.
- When making this recipe make sure to only use the egg yolk!
- If you are using the entire egg, which is in no way traditional or authentic to the original recipe, then bring them up to 165° over a double boiler while constantly whisking
More Amazing Pasta Recipes
Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes that you will absolutely love:
- Puttanesca Sauce with Pappardelle Pasta
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Lasagna Bolognese
- Pomodoro Sauce with Spaghetti
- Homemade Linguine Pasta with White Clam Sauce Recipe
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Homemade Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces medium diced guanciale
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup packed pecorino romano + more for garnish
- 12 ounces uncooked homemade spaghetti or 1 pound dried
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Next, add in the guanciale and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp and browned. Keep warm.
- In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, Romano cheese, and cracked pepper until combined.
- Temper the eggs by whisking in ½ of the hot rendered guanciale fat from the pan until combined.
- Next, add in the homemade pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking take ¼ cup of the hot boiling pasta water and whisk it into the egg mixture further bringing it into safe temperatures.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl with the egg and cheese mixture along with the crisp-cooked guanciale and toss until completely coated.
- Serve in a large pasta bowl and garnish with more Romano cheese and cracked pepper.