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Quick And Easy Pasta Dinner Recipes: Spaghetti Carbonara With Pancetta And Spinach

Updated on February 2, 2012

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes: Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach

Several years ago, when I was visiting Yellowstone National Park, we went out to dinner with my son and his wife. We discovered this fabulous bar and grill in Jackson Hole that served spaghetti carbonara.

I'd heard of it before but I'd never had it. I so enjoyed it that we ended up going back one more time before we went home just so I could have it again....and I still loved it!

This is a bit of an improvisation of the traditional carbonara because I used pancetta. You can also use regular bacon or other Italian meats that are similar to bacon, but I liked the pancetta since it was chopped and just the way I remember it from Jackson Hole. You can get it as crisp as you like, too.

I didn't have a dry white wine so I substituted Marsala and thought it was marvelous.

You can also use egg substitute as I did for half or all of the eggs.

I added spinach just because I try and add spinach to most everything! I find that it gives things a great added flavor but it's also good for you. You can leave that out if you're not partial to spinach and it will taste just as delicious.

Also try other hard Italian cheeses that are similar in flavor or texture to Parmesan or shaved cheeses.

No matter how you prepare it, I think you'll like Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach!

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from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner
from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner
from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner

Spaghetti Carbonara with Pancetta and Spinach

6-8 Servings


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package chopped pancetta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (used Marsala)
  • 4 beaten eggs (used 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh or frozen fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


  1. In large pan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, cook the pancetta until it begins to turn brown or become a little crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Leave a bit of the fat in the pan or remove and spray with cooking spray. If you leave some of the fat (about 1 tablespoon), cook the onions and garlic in that until the onions start to become transparent. If not using pancetta fat, then use about a tablespoon of olive oil to saute the onions and garlic.
  3. Add wine to the onions and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add pancetta back into the pan. Add the cooked spaghetti noodles and toss to coat and heat all the way through.
  5. Add in spinach. If mixture is too dry, add a bit of olive oil. Make sure you toss until heated through.
  6. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs and cook in the skillet, constantly tossing with spaghetti tongs or fork until the eggs are barely set.
  7. Toss in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and toss some more. Add salt and pepper to taste although with the Parmesan and pancetta, you really could do without the salt.
  8. Serve immediately with parsley sprinkled on top if desired and a little extra Parmesan cheese.

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes: Carbonara with Spinach

This makes a fantastically easy dinner whether it's just for the family or you're having company.

Add a tossed green salad, a crusty loaf of Italian bread fresh from the oven, a bottle of wine and you've got a delicious quick and easy dinner.

For dessert, try a light and fruity sorbet or maybe a biscuit tortoni.

You can't go wrong with Italian as most people love Italian food. If bacon or pancetta are not on your dietary plan, this spaghetti recipe also is great without it.

This is a great quick and easy dinner recipe and is something you can whip up from scratch without really feeling like you spent all day in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoy my quick and easy dinner recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach!

The Original Recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Saif~ Glad you liked~

    • saif113sb profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the great recipe.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Hendrika - Thanks so much for stopping by - I tend to add spinach to just about everything. My husband says he's surprised it doesn't show up in the oatmeal! I do add to the eggs though, too!

    • Hendrika profile image


      10 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I must say I have never thought of adding spinach to a carbonara,but now I wonder why as it sound delicious. I am going to try it the next time I cook for my granddaughter to see if she likes it. She loves creamed spinach so I cannot see that she will not love this.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Well, Wayne - I'm inviting you into my kitchen for a revamp of that recipe - peas sound like the thing to do! Early green peas - there's nothing like them and that sounds so delish I'm going to have to try that really soon. I'm a green kinda girl so anything green works for me!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      10 years ago from Texas

      This sounds great Audrey but I am already a huge carbonera fan anyway. One thing that is also an added flavor element with the mixture and contrasts well with the bacon or pancetta is early green peas...they hold their texture and add a burst of flavor that combines really nicely with the creamy sauce. Thanks for sharing! WB

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, James for stopping by and hope you enjoy it - hard to go wrong with pastas! Happy New Year!!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      I love it! Thanks for the recipe. I am going to try it. Sounds delish!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      MMP - I appreciate the nod - and Happy New Year! I always tell my family they are my best taste testers...they never have complained!

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image


      10 years ago

      Oh, this sounds delicious! I will have to try it out on the family over the holidays. I love making homemade spaghetti, this will give me a new twist to shake things up! Thanks for sharing, voted up, useful and awesome...

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks gr82bme for stopping in and hope you enjoy it! Happy holidays!!

    • gr82bme profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Oh yeah! This looks great. I can not wait to try it. Thank you. Rated up and bookmarked!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Micky for stopping by!

      Nell - oh my favorite....bolognese - make me some virtually and send it to me please!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      10 years ago from England

      Hi, I love all spaghetti dishes! I make a mean bolognaise! I will have to give this a try! Have a great new year! cheers nell

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      This is some good spaghetti! Thank you akirchner!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Prasetio - Thanks so much for stopping in and glad you liked it!

      KKG - Thanks for stopping by and easy and nutritious are up my alley as well!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great recipe. Looks delicious and sounds easy - something I always appreciate.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      10 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love spaghetti very much. By adding spinach in your recipes made this food so healthy and delicious. Thanks for share with us. Voting up as always.


    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Me, too, Chris - keeps ya working out though!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      oh yeah!! I love this stuff!!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Hanna - You come over with or without the cooking spoon - I've been known to screw up occasionally!

      To you too, sweetie - and hope you're mending well!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful recipe and over the Christmas I will try it. I hope I will try it and it comes out as you say hahaha Otherwise I come over ther with the biggest cooking spoon.

      Audrey have a lovely Christmas and all the best wishes for the New year to you and your family.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Russell-D for stopping by - and you are right...every once and a while it's okay to splurge!

    • Russell-D profile image


      10 years ago from Southern Ca.

      Spaghetti Carbonara, invented in kitchen heaven. A favorite in every town in Italy and a few good Italian Restaurants in West LA. But, oh the calories. Well, once or twice a year ok. David Russell

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Crewman - Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy it!

    • Crewman6 profile image


      10 years ago

      One more for the Book of Audrey; looks delicious, I can't wait to taste it!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Dallas. I do love to cook so it is easy for me to share this part of myself. I hope you like it!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      10 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Your cooking skills are evident! Thanks for sharing. Flag up and useful...

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Pamela - super~! And much joy and peace over this holiday season to you and yours as well!

      BKC - Thanks so much for stopping by and I know what you mean. I love marinara but then again I love alfredo but this is a nice option for kinda sorta in between and way less calories than alfredo!!

    • BkCreative profile image


      10 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      This'll work - very very well!

      Excellent recipe and so good for the guests and children. The eggs give it enough protein, the spinach - just the right amount of good green vegetable. As much as I love pasta I can really do without the red sauce all the time.

      Thanks a million - I'll bookmark and save.

      Rated up!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Audry, The Carbonara sounds wonderful and easy to make. I have the recipe copied already. Thanks. Love and Joy of the season.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      BJ - Let's make it with CO2 - that would be divine..maybe some helium thrown in for good measure. That would help in the wine department no doubt!

      I guess you've been busy then....reading of Muse and Men....I think it must be Friday - we are both waxing poetic or was that insane on my part?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      I'll have to try this spaghetti with carbon paper, er, with carbon copy, er, with carbon dioxide . . . What? Carbon what? Oh, right carbonara.

      Who was I talking to? My muse, of course. I rescued her from the muse trap. What? She's a mice and not a muse? Horrors! Loved the recipe though.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Katie - Peace and Joy to you at this most wonderful time of year!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      10 years ago from Westerville

      Carbonara sounds wonderful, my girls love a good pasta. Thanks for the great tips and recipes for pasta, easy dinners are always appreciated around here. Love, Peace and Joy! :)

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping in, Darski....yes I think I'm Italian by proxy!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      10 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Hello my friend, you know we are both Italian and yummy I love it all. My mom made the best Laziagna and I sure do miss this recipe is right up my alley, or taste buds. I add spinich and veggies to everything now. Thanks for a great recipe thumbs up love darski


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