Spaghetti Carbonara

There are a number of theories about how Spaghetti Carbonara, also known as Pasta Alla Carbonara, came into existence. One of the common theories is that this tasty pasta dish was served to coal workers in Italy given that ‘alla carbonara’ is supposedly defined as “coal worker’s style”. Here’s my down home, non-historian, and purely selfish take on Spaghetti Carbonara…if it includes pancetta (or any type of bacon), cream, and parmesan cheese, I am in.

This dish has only a few ingredients and so much rich flavor. A little bit really goes a long way. It is also open to flexibility, so if you don’t want to spend the extra money on pancetta, pick up some bacon. Although I have to say, with only a quarter pound of pancetta needed, a splurge may be in order. This dish can also be made in the same amount of time it takes to make your standard Spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce on a week night. So shake things up this week and surprise your family (and yourself) with this delicious recipe. Be sure to fill me in on how it goes!


3/4 lb Dried Spaghetti

1/4 lb Pancetta, sliced 1/4 in thick, diced small

1 Small onion, diced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/2 Cups Heavy cream

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 Egg

Salt and Pepper to taste

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. In large skillet, sauté onions and pancetta over medium heat in olive oil until pancetta is crisp. Remove half of the pancetta
    mixture to a paper towel.
  3. Drain pasta and immediately add to sauté pan. Toss pasta to ensure an even coat in oil.
  4. In a bowl whisk cream, Parmesan, and egg.
  5. Over low heat, add egg mixture and cook until just heated, tossing consistently, about 3 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with the set aside pancetta mixture and parsley.

6 responses

  1. I am so making this dish this weekend. The ingredients are added to my shopping list and I will let you know how it goes.

  2. I made this over the weekend (only variation is that I used bacon bits instead), yummy! Thank you so much for sharing!

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