How to Make Homemade Pasta Carbonara

If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, then you must try making homemade pasta carbonara. This classic Roman dish is a favorite among pasta lovers for its creamy, flavorful sauce and rich, hearty taste. The best part is, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home with just a few key ingredients.

To make homemade pasta carbonara, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Spaghetti or fettuccine pasta
  • Eggs
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Guanciale or pancetta (Italian cured meats)
  • Garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Start by boiling the pasta in salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, fry the guanciale or pancetta in a pan until crispy. Once cooked, remove the guanciale or pancetta from the pan and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese, minced garlic, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a small amount of the cooking water. Immediately toss the hot pasta into the egg mixture and mix well to coat the pasta. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs and create a creamy, velvety sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of the reserved cooking water to thin it out.

Finally, add the crispy guanciale or pancetta to the pasta and gently mix it in. Serve the homemade pasta carbonara hot, sprinkled with some extra grated cheese and black pepper on top. Enjoy this delicious Italian dish with a glass of wine and some crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Carbonara

When making homemade pasta carbonara, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Eggs: This recipe typically calls for eggs, which serve as the base for the carbonara sauce. You will need around 2-3 eggs, depending on the number of servings.
  • Pasta: Choose a type of pasta that pairs well with the carbonara sauce, such as spaghetti or fettuccine. You will need around 8-12 ounces of pasta, depending on your preference.
  • Bacon or Pancetta: To add richness and flavor to the dish, you will need about 4-6 slices of bacon or pancetta, thinly sliced.
  • Garlic: Adding minced garlic to the sauce will give it a delicious savory taste. You will need around 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese: This recipe typically calls for grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese to add a salty and tangy flavor to the sauce. You will need around 1/2 to 3/4 cup of grated cheese.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil can be added to the sauce for extra flavor.
  • Parsley (optional): If desired, you can garnish the finished dish with chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color.

These ingredients, when combined and cooked properly, will result in a delicious and creamy homemade pasta carbonara.

Choosing the Right Pasta

When it comes to making pasta carbonara, choosing the right type of pasta can make a big difference in the final dish. Different shapes and sizes of pasta can affect both the texture and the sauce absorption, so it’s important to select a pasta that can hold up to the rich and creamy carbonara sauce.

Here are some popular pasta options to consider:

  • Spaghetti: This long, thin, and cylindrical pasta is a classic choice for pasta carbonara. Its shape allows the sauce to coat each strand evenly.
  • Fettuccine: This wide and flat pasta is another excellent option for carbonara. Its broad surface area makes it great for holding onto the creamy sauce.
  • Tagliatelle: Similar to fettuccine, tagliatelle is a ribbon-like pasta that is slightly narrower. It’s a great choice if you prefer a lighter-textured dish.
  • Rigatoni: This tube-shaped pasta is a popular choice for carbonara as its ridges can catch the sauce, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor.
  • Penne: Penne pasta, with its cylindrical shape and diagonal cut ends, is another excellent option as its ridges can hold the sauce well.

Remember to cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it should be firm to the bite. Overcooking can result in mushy pasta that won’t hold up well with the sauce. Also, don’t forget to salt the pasta water before boiling to enhance the flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Homemade Pasta Carbonara

Step-by-Step Instructions for Homemade Pasta Carbonara


  • 1 pound of pasta (such as spaghetti or fettuccine)
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside.
  4. In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  6. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water.
  7. Working quickly, add the hot pasta to the skillet with the garlic and bacon drippings. Toss the pasta with the garlic and drippings until well coated.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and slowly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the hot pasta, stirring continuously to coat the pasta evenly. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce.
  9. If the sauce becomes too thick, gradually add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.
  10. Season the pasta carbonara with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Divide the pasta among serving plates and garnish with the crispy bacon and chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredient Amount
Pasta 1 pound
Bacon 4 slices
Garlic 2 cloves
Eggs 3
Parmesan cheese 1 cup
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Parsley For garnish
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