Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Classic Pasta Carbonara

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

A great carbonara is about balancing the cheese, eggs, pork, and pasta. Because there are so few ingredients, it’s important that they be high quality to make this dish a stunner. The secret is tossing beaten eggs with hot pasta off the heat so that the eggs thicken into a velvety sauce without scrambling. Eat the pasta very hot, while the sauce is still smooth and creamy. Like this recipe? Check out more easy 5-ingredient dinners.


  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini (preferably imported from Italy)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. guanciale or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3-1/2 cups using a rasp grater)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 540
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 750
  • Carbohydrates (g): 57
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 26


  • Bring an 8-quart pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and 2 Tbs. salt and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the package directions, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reserve 1 cup of the water and then drain the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, put the guanciale or pancetta and olive oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet (not cast iron), and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown but not yet crisp, 3 to 5 minutes for guanciale; 5 to 7 minutes for pancetta (you don’t want to render all the fat). Remove the skillet from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmigiano, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper until well combined. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water.
  • Immediately after draining the pasta, add it to the skillet and then quickly pour in the egg mixture, tossing continuously with tongs, until the pasta is well coated, 15 to 30 seconds. Add more of the reserved pasta cooking water if needed to achieve a creamy consistency.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with additional black pepper to taste.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • Presoftdev | 02/15/2019

    My go to recipe. It's so easy and delish

  • TNTraveler | 12/29/2018

    Great recipe, but it needs a touch of nutmeg to be truly 'classic.'

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.