Quick, easy and an absolute treat for the taste buds, this one Pasta Carbonara Recipe it’s simplicity at its best. It’s all made in a dutch oven, making any busy dinner party a breeze.
Spaghetti is cooked in a garlicky, creamy sauce of pecorino cheese, crispy pancetta, and more to create one of the easiest, tastiest pasta recipes you’ve ever laid your hands on. Period!
I love making this spaghetti carbonara dreaming of it being cold outside, soft snowflakes falling from the sky and blanketing my little world in white. It’s the perfect time to gather around a warm bowl of this comfort food. And when I say easy, I mean EASY. Just cook the pasta, make the cheese sauce, create the meaty, flavorful base and put it all together.
What’s in Pasta Carbonara?
- Spaghetti: We kept it classic and used spaghetti for this recipe. It cooks evenly and tastes great with the carbonara sauce.
- Pancetta: Thick, salty slices of pancetta are perfect for this easy carbonara recipe. It adds a rich, smoky flavor to the dish.
- White dry wine: we used Sauvignon Blanc as we find it goes well with the cheese and pancetta. It is used to de-stick the pan and enhance the flavor of the dish.
- Anchovy paste: The anchovy paste adds an umami flavor to the dish, making the flavor richer and more complex.
- Eggs: Eggs are essential to create the creamy sauce that coats the spaghetti.
- Pecorino Romano: A perfect combination of nutty and savory, pecorino romano is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. It gives the carbonara sauce its characteristic taste.
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Variations and Substitutions
This classic pasta carbonara can easily be mixed and matched to suit your taste preferences. If you don’t have spaghetti, any long type of pasta such as fettuccine or linguine will work just fine. And if you’re not a pecorino romano fan, you can be use parmesan cheese for a slightly milder flavor.
Thick bacon is a great substitute for pancetta. Just cut it into small pieces and bake until crispy. You can also add some vegetables like peas, mushrooms or asparagus to make the dish more satisfying and nutritious.
Top tips for Pasta Carbonara
- To help the pasta water cool quickly, refrigerate for a few minutes before using to make the sauce. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling when added to the hot pasta water.
- Do not overcook the pancetta. Cook it until just crisp, do not burn as it can make the dish taste bitter.
- Mix quickly and well. Once you’ve added the egg mixture to the pasta, work quickly and toss well to ensure all the spaghetti is evenly coated with the creamy sauce.
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Storage instructions + freezer
Place any remaining carbonara in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To freezeplace in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Great Jones “The Dutchess” is our favorite Dutch oven for everyday cooking. It’s great for one-pot meals, soups, and more!
What to serve with Pasta Carbonara
There are many ways to make this Pasta Carbonara an even more epic meal. For one, you can make this delicious grilled chicken bruschetta and serve it over your pasta or on the side.
You can also enjoy this pasta dish alongside a delicious chicken Caesar salad to add a refreshing element to the meal.
We also love how these Bacon Asparagus and Roasted Zucchini can add some extra veggies and flavors to the dish.
Simple Pasta Carbonara
This simple pasta carbonara is super easy and comforting, making it a delicious and nutritious meal for those busy weeknights. The combination of cheese, pancetta and pasta is a classic for a reason — it’s just delicious!
- 16 ounce. spaghetti
- 8 ounce. pancetta into cubes
- ½ large white onion minced meat
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup dry white wine we used Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano + more to overlay
- ¼ cup starchy water for pasta
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the pot before draining the pasta. Set the pasta aside, but try to keep the pasta warm.
Next, add the eggs, whole milk, and pecorino cheese to a large bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly pour ¼ cup of the warm (not hot) pasta water into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Make sure the pasta water is not hot or it will scramble the eggs. Set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the pancetta to the Dutch oven and cook for 4-5 minutes until partially cooked.
Add the onion and garlic and season with salt. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 additional minute.
Deglaze the Dutch oven with white wine. Pour the wine into the pan and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, whisk the anchovy paste into the white wine.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the dutch oven and toss with all the ingredients.
Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
Once the pan has had time to cool, slowly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta, stirring constantly to make sure the egg doesn’t mix.
When the egg mixture is creamy and warm, serve with cracked pepper, grated cheese and chopped parsley. Make sure the dutch oven is not hot or the eggs will scramble.
Tips & Notes
- Any long type of pasta can be used for this recipe.
- Option to place the starchy pasta water in the fridge for a few minutes to chill.
- Parmesan cheese can be used in place of pecorino romano.
Calories: 549kcal Carbohydrates: 60G Protein: 22G Fat: 23G Fiber: 3G Sugar: 3G
Photo: The photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin of The Edible Perspective.