One of Rome’s famous pasta dishes, carbonara is popular throughout the Italian peninsula. The ingredients are simple, yet timing and technique are the most difficult parts of this dish. It may take a few attempts to master carbonara, but trust us it will be well worth it.
- Prep Time8 min
- Cook Time10 min
- Total Time18 min
- Yield4 Servings
- 1 lb. spaghetti, rigatoni, or other pasta of your choice
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
For the sauce:
- 4 oz thick cut bacon (about 6-8 slices) or slab bacon*
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 oz Pecorino Romano
- Black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- *Guanciale or (sometimes) pancetta would be the traditional pork ingredients, though bacon is an appropriate substitute when these are not available.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, chop the bacon into strips or squares, depending on your preference. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until golden and crispy, stirring frequently. When the bacon is ready, turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep warm.
Pour the egg yolks, eggs and Pecorino into a bowl. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper plus one spoonful of pasta water and whisk to combine. The mixture should have a bright yellow color.
When the pasta is ready, use tongs or a slotted spoon (depending on the pasta shape) to transfer the pasta directly to the pan with the bacon. Add 2-3 spoons full of pasta water. Turn on the heat and set it to low. Quickly stir the pasta and bacon together.
Turn off the heat and move the pan away from the stove. Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pan and stir well until a silky consistency is reached. Adjust the consistency as needed with a spoonful or two of hot pasta water. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Top with more Pecorino and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.