Bacon Spaghetti Carbonara with parmesan cheese, bacon lardons and eggs. If you like pasta, you will love this Italian dish that is ready in 15-20 minutes. No cream, no complicated sauces, just the real deal. The creamy carbonara sauce can't be any simpler.
A restaurant-style dinner right from the comfort of your own home. And dinner's ready in under 20 minutes. This is the famous Spaghetti alla Carbonara, one of the most famous Italian recipes.
Who can blame the Italians for being pasta fanatics? If you can get big flavours from simple ingredients, and there no need to slave away for hours in the kitchen, l'm in. Although l probably wouldn't eat pasta every day, no matter how much l love it.
Spaghetti carbonara is one of the most popular Italian pasta dishes, and there are so many variations out there, some of them being way too complicated and use cream, which makes the sauce too heavy.
The actual basic recipe only requires eggs, which, together with the parmesan and bacon lardons make the best accompaniment to pasta, of any shape, although spaghetti are the more popular version.
If you are worried about raw eggs, no need to worry actually, as the eggs are cooked in the residual heat left from the cooked pasta. For an eggless variation of this dish, why not try my Garlic Bacon Pasta?
Ingredients needed to make bacon carbonara
- spaghetti - although this recipe could work with any other pasta shape, spaghetti is the usual pasta used for carbonara
- bacon lardons
- egg - large
- grated parmesan cheese
- black pepper - to taste
I used bacon lardons for this recipe, but regular rashes of bacon cut into pieces or streaky bacon can also be used.
If you don't have parmesan, Pecorino Romano is a good substitute, as it has similar texture that would go well in this recipe.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
There is nothing simpler than this, and anyone can do it:
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions
- Reserve a ladleful of the water the pasta was cooked in, then drain the rest
Note! Never rinse the cooked pasta! This does not apply to this recipe only, but any pasta recipe you make. The starch on the pasta helps the sauce (any sauce) stick to it.
- Once the pasta is cooked and removed from the heat , add the beaten egg mixed with parmesan, the residual water (you might not need all of it, just add enough to make a sticky sauce) with more parmesan and bacon, plus fresh parsley
- Place the lid on the pan for 2-3 minutes so that the egg can cook in the residual heat.
Make sure when you add the egg the pasta the pan with spaghetti is off the heat, or the egg will scramble. Once the spaghetti is drained and returned to the pan, leave it to cool down for a minute then add the egg mixture.
Never rise the cooked pasta, otherwise the sauce will not stick, plus the pasta won't be hot enough for the egg to cook in the residual heat.
You might not need all of the reserved water, best to add a tablespoon at a time until you have a creamy sauce, rather than add the whole quarter of a cup, it might be too much.
A traditional Italian carbonara does not use cream, but eggs to make the sauce.
As the pasta is so quick to cook, I recommend making just enough to eat, rather than having leftovers. The dish will not reheat well do to the egg coating it.
Other carbonara recipes
This spaghetti carbonara recipe is absolutely delicious, and if you are looking for pasta recipes that use bacon lardons, this is the recipe for you.
But did you know that we can add so much more to this recipe? If you like recipes with a twist, how about swapping bacon for salmon? I kit you not, it's amazing, my Salmon Carbonara is really yummy.
Another good twist, if you want to up the nutritional value, is adding butternut squash to the carbonara sauce like in my Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara. If might sound strange, but trust me, it's so good. Do give them a go!
If you’ve tried my BACON CARBONARA RECIPE or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Bacon Carbonara (No Cream)
- ¼ packet of dried spaghetti (150 g, 5 oz)
- 100 g bacon lardons
- 1 large egg
- 40 g grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, add salt, then in go the spaghetti.
- Cook according to the packet instructions.
- Meantime, heat up a frying pan and add the bacon lardon and cook until crispy.
- In a bowl, beat the egg well.
- When the spaghetti are cooked, remove from the heat, reserve 2 tablespoons of the water it cooked in, and drain the rest.
- Return the spaghetti to the pan, and leave it to cool for 1 minute.
- Add the egg mixture together with the reserved water, and mix well
- Add the cooked bacon, parmesan, season with black pepper and garnish with parsley.
- Serve immediately!
- To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.