Have you ever had Spaghetti Carbonara? You might know it by one of its aliases: Pasta Carbonara, Spaghetti a la Carbonara or Alla Carbonara.
I recently made it for the first time and I only had one question: Why the heck did I wait so long to make this creamy sauce, bacon, and pasta dish? It is The Best!
The simple ingredients are familiar, easy to make, and it’s a quick fix, too.
My recipe is a take-off on one I found on Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake (thanks sooo much!). Unlike the traditional Italian Spaghetti Carbonara recipe, both of our recipes are made with cream, but don’t hold that against me.
I realize cream is not used in most Italian recipes (neither is garlic!) but I’m partial to this creamy version.
This dish tasted great just the way it was but I think next time the only thing I will do different is add a couple of seasoned grilled chicken breasts to the sauce. Oh yeah, that would be good!
If you’ve never tried Spaghetti Carbonara, you’re probably wondering…
What is Spaghetti Carbonara?
The name is derived from an Italian word, carbonaro, that means “charcoal burner”. There’s some controversy over why.
Some think it was first enjoyed as a robust meal for Italian charcoal workers. Some believe it was created as a tribute to the Carbonari, a network of secret revolutionary societies back in the early 1800s.
But since most of us are taught mixing politics with meals is not polite and might lead to indigestion, let’s just say Spaghetti Carbonara is a delicious pasta dish!
How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara?
Although Spaghetti Carbonara sounds a little mysterious, let me assure you it is not hard to make.
At first, I was hesitant to make this dish because of the raw eggs in the classic recipe (carbonara traditionally includes raw eggs combined with hot pasta).
However, I cooked mine with sauce over med-LOW heat for about five minutes until I was sure the parmesan cheese was melted, and the eggs were done. I did it slowly, so I didn’t end up with scrambled eggs—problem solved!
Start by cooking the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions and let them rest in the hot water when they have finished boiling.
Meanwhile, I liked using a mixer to thoroughly blend the eggs, cream, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pepper flakes, and minced garlic. How ever you choose to combine these ingredients, mix them well.
Next, it’s time to get the bacon going. Maybe include one more slice than the recipe calls for so you can do some quality control. Call it cook’s privilege.
When the bacon is good and crisp, remove it from the skillet. Retain enough bacon grease in the pan for cooking the onions and mushrooms.
Chop or crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside. Remember: cook’s privilege.
Cook the diced onions and chopped mushrooms. You’ll know they’re finished when the onions are translucent and tender.
Pour off and reserve about two tablespoons of the hot water from the noodles. Drain the rest of the water from the finished noodles.
Add noodles to the skillet with the onions and mushrooms. Remove the pan from the burner; let it set while you do the next step.
Slowly add the two reserved tablespoons of hot water from the noodles to the egg mix; whisk together.
Now pour this sauce over the noodles in the skillet with the heat now set on medium-low. Go slow and steady—otherwise you’ll get the scrambled egg thing.
Add bacon and serve!
We had leftovers so the next day I added a bit of milk before warming it up and it was just as delicious the second time around.
Variations I have seen for this recipe include using diced black olives and pimento, chopped parsley, peas, and broccoli.
Spaghetti Carbonara is an easy dish to fix at home. All that creamy sauce, bacon, and pasta? Mama mia!
Creamy Bacon Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara Recipe
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 7 slices bacon, crumbled up
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
- 1/2 package of spaghetti
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Cook your noodles per package directions and leave in the hot water until ready to add to your skillet.
- In a mixing bowl add your eggs, cream, parmesan, dried parsley flakes, garlic salt, ground black pepper, and minced garlic. Combine your ingredients so that the eggs are all beat together with the other ingredients. I used a hand mixer just to make sure they were all incorporated really good!
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook your bacon over medium heat. When done remove from skillet and chop or crumble into small pieces and set aside. And this was the only rare occasion that I didn’t pat the bacon with a napkin to remove the grease. I actually wanted a little bit of the grease flavor in the pasta. I know unhealthy.
- Add your onion and mushroom to your hot skillet with a little bit of bacon grease and let cook until onions are tender.
- Once your noodles are done cooking drain all of the water, except for about 2 tablespoons and put the noodles into the skillet with the onions and mushrooms and remove from the burner for a few minutes to let your pan cool down.
- Add the 2 reserved tablespoons of hot noodle liquid to the egg mixture slowly while whisking. Don’t add it too fast or you will end up with scrambled eggs which would be bad. Funny, but bad.
- Once you have added the liquid to your eggs you are ready to add your sauce to the noodles. I poured the sauce directly over the noodles in the skillet and turned the burner on med-LOW and kept stirring so that the sauce didn’t get too hot in any once place. It’s important to warm the sauce up slowly or you will have scrambled eggs in your pasta.
- Now I’m a complete freak and was a little hesitant to make this dish because of the raw eggs in the sauce. The original recipe called for just the noodles into the sauce then it was done… but I cooked mine over med-LOW heat for about 5 minutes until I was sure all of the parmesan cheese was melted and the eggs were done. I did it so slowly enough that I didn’t have any problems with my eggs cooking too fast or too much.
- Add your crumbled bacon to the top of your pasta before serving.
- It might sound a little scary to make this but trust me when I say that it was well worth it. This really wasn’t hard to make and it really did turn out to be very delicious.
- Shauna’s Tips……
- When we made left overs we added a little bit of milk when warming it up and it turned out really delicious on the second day too!
- Super easy if you want to use an entire package of spaghetti… just double the sauce ingredients!