I love carbonara. It's fast, simple and cheap, yet very filling, warm and comforting. I generally don't like it when I get it at a restaurant which is surprising to me because it is so easy to make! Today we used bacon rather than pancetta for a few reasons. I have tried both in this dish, and I prefer bacon when I can't get guanciale.  Also at the store I went to, they didn't have the really good pancetta, only the thin round kind which I am not a fan of. Thirdly, I was watching Giada at Home the other day and saw Aunt Raffi saying that when she is in the US, she uses bacon instead of pancetta because in the finished dish it tastes more "like it did back in Italy." Those are enough reasons for me, so here is my recipe for pasta in the style of the coal miner's wife.

UPDATE - After a recent trip to Rome, I have made a more authentic version of carbonara.  I still stand by the trashy americanized version shown on this page, but before you leave an angry comment you should check out the new one!  
I also made some cheesy garlic bread that day.  Lots of mozzarella, crushed red pepper, olive oil, parsley, and garlic.  It's ready for the oven. My favorite pasta for this dish is linguine. Bucatini (shown here) is a decent substitute and fun to use occasionally. I slice the bacon in half the long way, and then cut small pieces the short way. This is one pound of bacon minus 6 pieces for breakfast tomorrow. Get thick sliced bacon. When the pasta has 1 minute left, add garlic to the bacon. Work quickly now. Add the pasta right into the bacon/bacon fat. Cup of cream and 4 eggs. The eggs have been sitting out for at least 4 hours so they are room temperature before cracking them and mixing with the cream. This is pretty important. Stir the pasta into the bacon for about 30 seconds. This bowl has been warmed until you are just barely able to hold it. Dump the pasta in and quickly add the egg and cream mixture. Stir to combine. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs. Add the parsley. And cheese. And keep stirring. Yum. Top with more parsley and cheese and cracked black pepper.


For:  4 Servings

  • 3/4 Pound Bacon
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Minced Parsley
  • 1 Cup Grated Parm
  • 1/4 Of an onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Pound Bucatini


  1. Bring water to boil in pasta pot with salt. Dice bacon and cook on med-high. Meanwhile, mix 4 ROOM TEMP eggs with a cup of cream. Dice parsley, grate parm, dice clove of garlic and ¼ of onion.
  2. When bacon starts browning and looks like it could be almost done, add pasta to water and cook for 2 minutes less than box instructions. Add onion to the bacon with 5 minutes remaining on pasta. Add garlic to the bacon with one minute remaining on pasta.
  3. Add pasta to the bacon. Stir to coat. Add pasta and egg mixture to warm bowl. Stir to coat. Add parsley and cheese and keep stirring. Allow 5 minutes before serving.