Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the creamiest pasta evaaaaa, without the cream!
This old school dish is pretty simple to make but the timing here is EVERYTHING! It’s crucial that the pasta is piping hot when adding the egg mixture, so the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
To make your life easier/guarantee success, I suggest having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin.
- 1 large pot
- 1 large and deep skillet
- 1 pasta spoon
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 strainer
- 1 grater
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz guanciale may sub pancetta or slab bacon; cut into ½" slices
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup Pecorino Romano finely grated; may sub parmigiano reggiano
- freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup Italian parsley stems removed; for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add 2 tbsp of salt, stir, and return the water to a roaring boil. Add spaghetti and cook as per package instructions until al dente (about 8-9 minutes depending on the brand). Reserve 3/4 cup of starchy pasta water; drain the pasta. You'll need the starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce to your liking.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-heat. Add the guanciale, pancetta, or bacon (whatever you're using), sauté until crisp and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add garlic into the fat and sauté for less than 1 minute to soften.
- Beat the eggs and cheese together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps.
- Add the hot and drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat in the bacon fat.
- Remove the pan from heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta. Using tongs, quickly toss the spaghetti in the egg/cheese mixture, until eggs thicken. Thin out the sauce with the starchy pasta water, a little bit at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Season the carbonara with freshly ground black pepper and add salt if needed.
- Transfer to warm pasta bowls, garnish with chopped parsley and freshly grated Pecorino (optional). Serve immediately!