Pasta Carbonara


  • 8 cups water , divided
  • 2 eggs 2 egg yolks
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese , plus more for serving
  • 8 – 10 slices pancetta or bacon , cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 lb linguine or spaghetti
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley , for garnish


  1. Saute pancetta or bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the edges are crispy. Remove and set it aside. Along with all but about a tablespoon of the fat. Discard the remaining fat.
  2. Return pan to heat and saute garlic about 30 seconds, until fragrant and lightly
  3. Add eggs, egg yolks, parmesan and pepper to garlic mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large dutch oven (no more than 8 cups because you want a very starchy water for the sauce).
  5. Add spaghetti and salt to boiling water and cook until al dente.
  6. While pasta is boiling, set a colander in a large bowl . Drain al dente pasta into colander in bowl, while reserving pasta water in bowl.
  7. Measure out 1 cup hot pasta water and discard remaining water. Place pasta in now empty large bowl.
  8. Slowly pour and whisk 1/2 cup pasta water into egg mixture, then slowly pour egg mixture over pasta while tossing to coat.
  9. Add bacon or pancetta and toss to combine.
  10. Season with salt if desired.
  11. Let pasta rest, tossing frequently, 2 – 4 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly and coats pasta.
  12. Thin with remaining 1/2 cup hot pasta water as needed.
  13. Serve immediately topped with additional parmesan and parsley.


Use freshly grated Parmesan as a final topping. If you have extra bacon or pancetta, you might want to cook it until crispy as another garnish.

If you want to up the presentation game, try making these easy parmesan crisps that take just ten minutes and one ingredient!

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