Authentic Italian Pasta Carbonara

4.9 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 20 mins
Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 498


Pasta carbonara is a classic Italian dish. Simple yet rich and comforting this dish is perfect for a quick and delicious dinner in no time. Carbonara pairs well with a variety of wines, but a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light-bodied red wine like Barbera is a good choice. The creamy and savory flavors of the dish also complement crisp and refreshing beers like Pilsners or Lagers. For non-alcoholic options, try pairing it with lemonade or an Italian soda for a burst of citrusy flavor. You can also pair it with a side salad or garlic bread to balance out the richness of the pasta.


Cooking Mode Disabled

FOR GARNISH (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Reserving half a cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a separate pan, cook the guanciale, bacon or pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, pecorino cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

  4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the bacon or pancetta, and pour the egg mixture and pasta water on top.

  5. Stir everything together until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta evenly. Serve immediately, topped with additional Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and parsley if desired.


  • Use good quality guanciale or pancetta. Guanciale is a cured pork jowl that is traditionally used in pasta carbonara. If you can't find guanciale, you can use pancetta, which is a cured pork belly.
  • Don't overcook the pasta. Overcooked pasta will be mushy and will not absorb the sauce well.
  • Don't add cream to the sauce. Traditional pasta carbonara does not contain cream. The sauce is made with egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
  • Don't heat the sauce too much. Heating the sauce too much will cook the eggs and make the sauce curdle.
  • Season the pasta to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Pre-grated Parmesan cheese often contains fillers and won't give you the same flavor.
  • Add a knob of butter to the sauce. This will help to make the sauce richer and creamier.
  • Add a splash of white wine to the sauce. This will add depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Garnish the pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper. This will add a touch of elegance to the dish.
  • Preventing the eggs from curdling: To prevent the eggs from curdling, do not heat the sauce too much. The sauce should be warm, but not hot.
  • Storing pasta carbonara: Pasta carbonara can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to eat it, reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Keywords: pasta

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All:
What is the best pasta to use for pasta carbonara?

The best pasta to use for pasta carbonara is spaghetti. Spaghetti is a long, thin pasta that is perfect for catching the sauce. You can also use other types of pasta, such as fettuccine or linguine, but spaghetti is the traditional choice.

What is the difference between pasta carbonara and fettuccine Alfredo?

Pasta carbonara and fettuccine Alfredo are both Italian pasta dishes. However, there are some key differences between the two dishes. Pasta carbonara is made with egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper, while fettuccine Alfredo is made with cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Pasta carbonara is also typically served as a main course, while fettuccine Alfredo is often served as a side dish.

How do I prevent the eggs from curdling in pasta carbonara?

To prevent the eggs from curdling in pasta carbonara, do not heat the sauce too much. The sauce should be warm, but not hot. You can also add a splash of white wine to the sauce, which will help to prevent the eggs from curdling.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #themoderncookbook if you made this recipe. Follow @moderncookbook on Instagram for more recipes.

User Reviews

4.9 out of 5
Based on 7 ratings
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rate this recipe

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *