Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta

Bacon Carbonara Pasta is an Italian classic pasta dish with creamy egg sauce with noodles, pasta, eggs and bacon topped with salty Parmesan cheese in under 30 minutes.

Classic Italian recipes are a popular section of recipes on the site including Meat Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan and Marinara Sauce.

Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
 Easy Carbonara Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for spaghetti carbonara topped with bacon and peas made without being intimidating! This recipe is as easy as making the pasta and bacon and tossing it together with rich egg yolks and a bit of reserved pasta water to make the creamiest easiest sauce ever. It’s like stepping into Rome, Italy with the benefit of it taking as long as a normal weeknight dinner.

One of the most intimidating things about making carbonara pasta is the egg sauce. People worry about scrambling the eggs or eating raw eggs because of the heat of the pasta. Before publishing this recipe I tested it 5 times and tossed it with the eggs even taking an extra minute or so, tossing it slower or faster, trying to come up with ways you guys may approach the directions differently.

The only version that ended with scrambled eggs was pouring in the eggs directly into the pan fully before tossing (which is not how the directions are written, but I wanted to test all the ways it may be carried out.

WHY SAVE PASTA WATER?

Pasta water is saved for this Carbonara Pasta because the extra starch in the water from the cooking process helps to create a creamier sauce. This makes it easy to create a thick, rich sauce without waiting for anything to cook down or without adding a lot of cream or excess cheese.

Remember to cook pasta al-dente, this means with a bite. I always instruct that pasta should be cooked one minute shy of the instructions on the box for this reason. As you toss ingredients together and finish the recipe your pasta will finish cooking naturally instead of becoming overcooked. If you like eating pasta al-dente I would recommend cooking 2 minutes shy of the directions before draining the pasta.

THE INGREDIENT QUALITY MATTERS:

This recipe shines because of its simplicity, but it also requires the use of good ingredients. I love thick cut bacon, or even high quality standard cut bacon. Use a freshly ground black pepper, the bigger the grind the more bold the flavor (shaker black pepper will hurt this recipe). Use shaved parmesan (or Romano) instead of grated for a less gritty texture.

Carbonara Pasta on fork

WHAT GOES INTO A TRADITIONAL PASTA CARBONARA:

There are many recipe variations of carbonara that are not traditional (including cream cheese or mozzarella cheese), but the traditional variety seen here including a raw egg mixture being mixed and brought to a sage temperature by the heat of the pasta.

For a fully traditional option, use pancetta instead of bacon, and skip the peas.

More traditional and less-traditional Carbonara Recipe ingredients:

  • Peas: I’m love carbonara with peas, but you can certainly skip the peas. Add them in frozen as you toss the pasta they will thaw quickly.
  • Garlic Cloves: While not traditional you can of course add them in as raw, roasted or cook them in olive oil or bacon fat first.
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese: If you have it on hand or don’t like Parmesan Cheese, you can use Romano in it’s place.
  • Fresh Parsley: An easy topping, but not needed as the parsley flavor will overpower the egg yolk flavor.
  • White Wine: You can of course add this in place of or in addition to the pasta water, but the starch in the reserved cooking water helps the creamy texture of the sauce.
  • Whole Eggs: There is never a reason to add whole eggs to this recipe, if you see a recipe call for it, I’d look to another recipe unless they call for it in the creation of fresh pasta.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream can be used if you are avoiding the use of raw eggs to create a creamy cheese sauce.
  • Olive Oil: No need to use oil in this recipe since we aren’t cooking anything in fat, but if you’re adding any additional vegetables you can certainly add olive oil. I would cook them in the bacon fat though.

Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes?

Tools Used in the making of this Bacon Carbonara Pasta:
Cast Iron Skillet:
This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well.
Chef’s Knife: This knife is one of the three most used tools in my kitchen.
Tongs: are great for tossing all the eggs and cheese together without making a mess.

Carbonara Pasta in bowl

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Bacon Carbonara Pasta

Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta with just 5 ingredients is as easy as cooking pasta and bacon and it's ready to eat in 30 minutes. A classic recipe made EASY.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 10 slices bacon , cut into small pieces
  • 3 large eggs yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan , shaved
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot to one minute less than the directions on the box and keep ½ cup of pasta water to the side to drain pasta (do not rinse pasta).
  • In a large skillet add the bacon and cook it until crisp then turn off the heat and remove the bacon with a slotted spoon then add the pasta and toss it in the bacon fat.
  • Add the eggs, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to a large bowl and whisk well before adding slowly while tossing the hot pasta quickly to prevent it from scrambling.
  • Add in ¼ cup of the pasta water and peas, tossing again to create a saucy consistency to the pasta then topping with bacon before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 562kcal
Keyword: Carbonara Pasta, Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
Carbonara Pasta Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

  1. Made this as directed except that I added onion and garlic in when cooking the bacon. My pasta fell apart and the “sauce” didn’t make a saucy texture at all. Very dry and weird, but it tasted alright because it’s just pasta with bacon and cheese.

    1. Hello Lou, I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out as you had hoped. Maybe there is another recipe of mine that will work better for you.

  2. This recipe disappointed me, unfortunately. I had to sprinkle garlic powder on it to add any kind of flavour. Perhaps the leftovers will taste better?

    If I were to ever make it again, I’d include onion and a ton of garlic, without it, it’s just too bland.

    1. I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out well for you, maybe another recipe I have would work better for you some other time.

    1. Sounds wonderful! After you remove the bacon from the pan, add the mushrooms with the rendered bacon fat and cook until tender. Good luck!

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