Spaghetti Carbonara

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Here’s one of the best pasta dishes of all time—because it’s so good and yet so easy to make!

Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this pasta dish, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:

[sc name="classiccarbonararotd"][/sc]


  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced (see note)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 oz. finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 and ½ cups), plus more for serving
  • 1 and ½ oz. finely shredded Pecorino cheese (about ¾ cup), plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Scrape the pancetta mixture, including any fat that accumulated in the pan, into a large metal mixing bowl. Set the bowl near the stovetop to keep it warm.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, add the eggs, cheeses, and pepper to the bowl with the pancetta, whisking to combine.
  6. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then immediately add the drained hot pasta to the bowl with the egg mixture.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of the pasta water and toss vigorously until the cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms, adding more water as desired. Add salt and more pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with additional cheese on the side.


Note: Pancetta is an Italian style of bacon available at the deli counter at most major supermarkets. Ask for slices about 1/4-inch thick so it’s easy to turn into 1/4-inch dice. Sometimes you’ll see it already packaged as thin slices, which you can cut into pieces.