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Quick and Easy Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Updated on August 2, 2012
Pasta Carbonara Garnished with Cracked Pepper
Pasta Carbonara Garnished with Cracked Pepper | Source

Origin of Carbonara

Even today, we do not know the exact origin of carbonara, though there are plenty of stories about it. For example, "carbonara" is derived from the Italian word "carbonaro," a term meaning charcoal burner. For this reason, some believe that the dish was first made as a nourishing and filling dish for charcoal workers in Italy. In various parts of the United States, carbonara is referred to as "coal miner's spaghetti." This theory is probably closest to the truth, but there are those who believe it was made as a tribute to the Carbonari (charcoalmen), who were an Italian secret society.

There are no records of the preparation of carbonara until after World War II, when many Italians were supplied with bacon and eggs (key ingredients in the dish) by US troops.

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Carbonara is one of the most popular Italian dishes, and this recipe will show you how to quickly and easily make it yourself. It's a perfect dish to serve at a romantic dinner for two, but it also makes a great family meal.

Please Rate this Dish

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of Spaghetti Carbonara

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 4 servings of spaghetti carbonara


  • kosher salt to taste
  • ½ pound bacon, diced
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup pecorino-romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and stir in a handful of kosher salt, then taste - it should taste like seawater.
  2. Put a lid on the pot and heat it until it boils.
  3. Place the bacon in a sauté pan before heating, then cook it over a low heat until it becomes crisp (10 - 15 minutes).
  4. Transfer the bacon to paper towels, where it should be left to drain.
  5. Add the spaghetti to the still-boiling saltwater and cook it according to the instructions provided on the packaging until it turns tender but firm (6 - 9 minutes).
  6. Leave the pasta to cook and place the eggs, cheese, oil and cream in a bowl and beat them using a whisk until they've combined properly.
  7. Drain the pasta, toss it with the egg blend, and sprinkle it with the bacon and parsley. Serve it immediately, with extra grated cheese tossed on top if desired.

Notes & Tips

-Parmesan cheese may be substituted for the pecorino-Romano cheese in this dish.

-Add some cooked onions and peas to the dish if you wish.

-Similarly, if you'd prefer to have plenty of bacon in your carbonara rather than just a sprinkling, use a full pound instead of half.

-There are a variety of instant carbonara sauces available at most supermarkets, which you are free to use in this recipe if you are short on time.


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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I happen to love spaghetti carbonara and your photos make my mouth water! I've added this to my list...the history was interesting. I didn't know it was called coal miner's spaghetti!