How to Make Classic Italian Carbonara with Bacon

Indulge in the rich and creamy flavors of “Classic Comfort: Italian Carbonara with Bacon.” This traditional Italian pasta dish features tender spaghetti coated in a luscious, velvety sauce made from eggs, Parmesan cheese, and crispy bacon. Perfect for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this carbonara is sure to become a favorite with its irresistible combination of flavors and textures.

Why You’ll Love Italian Carbonara with Bacon:

  • Rich and Creamy: The egg and Parmesan sauce creates a luxurious, creamy texture.
  • Savory Flavor: Crispy bacon adds a delicious smoky and savory note.
  • Quick and Easy: Ready in under 30 minutes with simple ingredients.
  • Classic Italian Dish: A timeless recipe that never goes out of style.

Ingredients Notes For Italian Carbonara with Bacon:

  • Spaghetti: Traditional choice for carbonara, but you can use other long pasta like fettuccine or linguine.
  • Bacon: Use thick-cut bacon for the best flavor and texture. Pancetta or guanciale are traditional, but bacon works well.
  • Eggs: Large eggs, which provide the creamy sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated for the best flavor. Pecorino Romano can also be used.
  • Garlic: Adds a subtle depth of flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Parsley: Fresh, chopped parsley for garnish (optional).

Recipe Steps:

  1. Cook the Spaghetti:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 12 ounces of spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  2. Prepare the Bacon:
    • While the pasta is cooking, cut 8 ounces of bacon into small pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
  3. Make the Sauce:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese until well combined. Season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
  4. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • Return the skillet with the bacon fat to low heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet and toss to coat in the bacon fat and garlic.
    • Remove the skillet from heat. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the hot pasta, tossing quickly to combine. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs and create a creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Add Bacon:
    • Stir in the cooked bacon pieces, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the pasta.
  6. Serve:
    • Divide the carbonara among serving plates. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Freeze: Not recommended as the sauce may separate and lose its creamy texture.

How to Make Classic Italian Carbonara with Bacon

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Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 8 ounces bacon diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese optional, or use more Parmesan
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

Cook the Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Cook the Bacon:

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.

Prepare the Sauce:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano (if using), and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Combine Pasta and Bacon:

  • Add the minced garlic to the skillet with the bacon fat and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the bacon fat and garlic.

Create the Carbonara Sauce:

  • Remove the skillet from the heat and quickly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta, tossing vigorously to coat the pasta evenly. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Finish and Serve:

  • Stir in the cooked bacon.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and additional grated cheese if desired.

Serve Immediately:

  • Serve the Carbonara hot, and enjoy this classic Italian dish with a side of garlic bread or a fresh green salad.

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