Quick Spaghetti Carbonara

'Spaghetti alla Carbonara' is the Italian version of bacon and eggs; it is very easy to make. Beaten eggs, added to the spaghetti before the rest of the sauce, are cooked immediately by the heat of the pasta.
Preparation time : 10 minutes,
Cooking time : 20 minutes,
Calories per serving: 680


serves 4
1 lb (450 g) spaghetti or wholewheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
8 rashers smoked bacon
4 oz (115 g) mature Cheddar or fresh
Parmesan cheese
3 eggs
3 tablespoons milk or 4 tablespoons double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


1. Preheat 4 serving plates. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the spaghetti. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet - it should be tender but still firm to the bite.

2. Peel and chop the onion. Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and briefly fry the bacon until just cooked on both sides. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the cooking juices behind. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 4 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to turn golden.

3. While the onion is cooking, chop the bacon into large squares and discard the rinds. Grate the cheese onto a plate, then beat the eggs thoroughly with a fork in a small bowl.

4. When the onions are cooked, add the bacon squares and milk or cream to the pan and season to taste. Reduce the heat.

5. Drain the cooked spaghetti and return it to the pan. Quickly stir in the beaten eggs and the grated cheese. Stir in the remaining ingredients and divide between the heated plates.

6. Garnish with the parsley and extra twists of black pepper, and serve.

What did you think?

27 people have helped to review this recipe. Thankyou!

Not that quick
posted by Phillipe Martino @ 07:37AM, 1/27/09
Quick is pancetta/streaky bacon friend in olive oil until crispy, preferably with garlic,
take pan off heat to ensure no scrambed egg
add cooked spaghettic to pan
crack egg in middle with loads of parmesan and mix together
Just eaten it!
posted by Food critic @ 08:53AM, 10/26/09
Very nice, very traditional I feel - and much more flavoursome than the ones they give you in ordinary restaurants! A definate YES!
Slimer version
posted by val @ 03:01PM, 9/13/10
Easy and quick to make very tasty used half fat creme fresh instead of cream worked well
posted by ed @ 03:39PM, 9/14/10
Can you make it without using cream or milk
posted by bob @ 01:48AM, 1/30/12
Mine came out quite dry.. did taste pretty good
Why Onion?
posted by Spain @ 10:34PM, 5/16/12
I like onion, but I don't use it on this sauce. Instead I use:

1 garlic clove
1 lb bacon
2 cartons of cream (they come in tiny boxes)
1 egg
Parmesan Cheese (grated, the kind you buy for pasta)
1 lb of fettuccine

1. Cook the pasta the way you like it.
2. While the pasta is sitting on the strainer, add diced garlic (in small pieces) on a big enough pot with enough olive oil (extra virgin) to brown the garlic slightly, not much because the bacon will add more oil to the sauce.
3. Cut the bacon on strips and add the strips to the pot.
4. On a bowl beat 1 egg and mix it with the 2 boxes of cream.
5. Add the pasta and the cream to the pot at medium/low heat and mix everything.
6. Start adding the Parmesan grated cheese and keep mixing.

OPTIONAL: You can add milk to make the sauce less dense. I normally add some milk to the bowl. If you like it more dense, just keep adding Parmesan cheese. You shouldn't need more cream, it is very filling as it is.

To Dry: if they came out dry, add milk. They shouldn't though, my guess is you added too little cream, but milk works as thinner and to avoid dryness.

To Cream/Milk: Not really, if you are not lactose tolerant, stick to tomato based sauces, but then it wouldn't be Carbonara, it would be Marinara.
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