Fettucine Carbonara with Roasted Tomatoes

June 7, 2010

I’ve been craving Carbonara for a while now but was having a hard time justifying the calories.  The willpower was gone when I thought about throwing in some of the surplus cherry tomatoes from the garden.  I also planned to make fresh homemade fettucine but I was too lazy busy to get around to it.  Enter Plan B.  Go to the store for fresh-ish Buitoni.  Strike that.  They only had one package and I was feeding six of us.  Moving on to Plan C.  The dried pasta aisle for Ronzoni. Strike that too.  No regular Ronzoni fettucine to be found.  Plan D? Whatever brand I could find.  This Davinci brand was okay but it wasn’t very wide.  It was more linguine than fettucine if you ask me.  It tasted okay but I still didn’t get those wide strips of pasta I wanted.  That just means I’ll have to indulge again soon!

  • Fettucine, a pound of dry or a couple of boxes of fresh or your own homemade.
  • Pancetta, 3/4 pound
  • Yellow or White Onion, 1 medium
  • Garlic, 5 or 6 cloves
  • Eggs, 3
  • Cream, 1 1/2 cups
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan, 1 cup
  • Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes, 2 dozen or soPut the water for the fettucine up to boil.

Dice the pancetta.

Rinse the tomatoes and spread them on a baking pan.  Heat the broiler.

Fry up the pancetta in a large saute pan.  Slide the tomatoes under the broiler.

While the pancetta is cooking and the tomatoes are broiling, slice the onion and chop the garlic.

Whisk together the eggs, cream and cheese.  Add about a teaspoon of black pepper.

By now the pancetta should be getting crispy.  Take it out,  drain it on paper towels and set it aside.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize.

The water should be boiling so start cooking the fettucine.

When the tomatoes begin to brown take them out and set them aside.

As soon as the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the pan with the onions and garlic.  Pour the cream mixture over the top and cook, tossing it all together over low heat.  If it seems too dry add a little of the pasta cooking water.

Add the pancetta…

..and the tomatoes.

Stir it together just until it’s mixed.

Serve it up with additional Parmesan on the side.  Enjoy!

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris June 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Looks delicious! Sorry that the pasta was being difficult! But, in the end, the dish looks phenomenal. That pic of the “pouring” of the tomatoes? Priceless! ;)


2 Mary at Deep South Dish June 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Sounds perfect! And, fresh garden tomatoes too. I didn’t plant any cherry tomatoes this year and my poor Roma is pale from all this darned rain lately so I gave it a dose of fertilizer today. At least it does have some tomatoes on it this year. Been getting a few Patios, Creoles and Better Boys here and there – so great to have garden fresh tomatoes. For dried commercial pasta I love Barilla! I really do see a difference from other brands.


3 Angie June 8, 2010 at 4:16 am

wow, that looks so good! :P


4 Marie June 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

Looks so delicious! I love roasted tomatoes!


5 Jenny June 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Just found this blog today. Gorgeous photos, and that carbonara looks phenomenal.


6 jimmy blankets June 8, 2010 at 9:47 pm

carbonara shouldn’t have cream. stir together parmesan and egg yolks and stir that into the pasta while slowly adding pasta water to create a creamy sauce.


7 Kham Tran June 9, 2010 at 2:10 am

I’ve definitely got to try this recipe. It looks absolutely delicious.


8 pepeluis June 9, 2010 at 8:39 am

I use to buy them ‘ready to eat’ but your dish looks awesome.


9 Susan June 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

Roasted tomatoes are a great idea for this dish–thanks for helping us all justify those calories!


10 vittorio di giacomo June 9, 2010 at 10:18 am

But I prefere to use guanciale instead of pancetta. ;D


11 Steph June 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm

this pasta looks delicious!!


12 AlexsaZ June 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm

how do these pictures look delicious


13 Steve June 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Looks simply delicious! I like to add fresh parsley and basil to mine for a little color and fresh herb flavor.


14 Chef Maven - Leah June 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I just made this last night – though my version included farmers market green beans and shallots with the other ingredients – including fat-free half-n-half and two egg yolks, which creates the creamy effect we all so desire… but with just a little less cholesterol… :P

thanks for sharing your recipe and great photos too to boot!


15 charly June 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I love the picture of you pouring the tomatoes in! What a kodak moment haha.


16 Ella June 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I just made this last night and it was great! Next time though I’ll use a little less Pancetta because it was a bit too salty. Great pictures!


17 Joel June 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

This is an excellent recipe, very similar to mine. So many of the roman recipes leave out garlic and onion, but I find them quite3 supportive in this dish. If you want to get WAY better, use local free range eggs, and at the very end, poach an egg for each serving and place it on top. It sounds a little much, I know, but if you are using truly local free range eggs this dish actually becomes good for you, and that exra runny yolk over everything is so very special.


18 Memoria June 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm

While it is true that carbonara should not have cream in it, this dish still looks amazing. I usually make carbonara with pancetta (I can’t find guanciale), eggs, pepper, pasta, pasta water, and parmiggiano reggiano (and sometimes pecorino romano). I’ve never tried adding in tomatoes. YUM! I love any type of carbonara.


19 Mariko June 10, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Oh. OOoooooooohhhhhhh. I was about to make pesto pasta (to use up my leftover pesto) but now I’m like, “Hmmm, should I go to the store and buy some pancetta?”


20 Haniye June 11, 2010 at 2:10 am

I love you. This was amazing.

Thank you.


21 Alonia Anderson June 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

Hey Ellen,

I don’t usually eat pasta. I used to. But, I noticed if I start adding it to my diet, I start to gain weight. However, I will try your recipe out. It looks great!
Thanks for Sharing it
Alonia Anderson


22 emma June 12, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Yes, Yes, Yes! I consider myself a bit of a carbonara queen, it´s my third favourite dish in the whole wide world – and I can really appreciate the addition of the baby toms. You cant buy them here in Portugal, so I´ve planted a forest of them this year. Can´t wait to toss them around with some of the neighbours eggs and some bona fide Portuguese presunto (proscuitto). I bought some at the market today and I swear I can smell it in the fridge from here. Yours looks great, Karen, Yum!


23 punkmarko June 14, 2010 at 12:44 am

sweetness! those photos are just pure awesomeness. i’m hungry.


24 Amy June 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

This looks so good.. I am gonna have to add it to next months dinner menu!


25 sir jorge June 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

that’s an amazing thing, i’m going to try it out sooner than later


26 LovelY June 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Yum! The photos were great. Sure made my mouth water. Thanks for sharing this!


27 Verna July 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I made this last night with bacon and mushrooms, and didn’t have the tomatoes (I’m sooooo going to have to make it again when I do) and it was DIVINE!!!! Definitely not a cholesterol friendly version but SUCH a treat!


28 Iron Chef Shellie August 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

Oh wow! it looks soo soo good!!! I can’t wait to try it home!


29 victor September 1, 2010 at 10:56 am

You’re not supposed to have cream in carbonara, try without.


30 Karen Bove September 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

I know, I know. Cream isn’t part of a traditional Carbonara. But I like it :) Y’all can feel free to call this something other than Carbonara but it’ll still taste just as good.


31 Marina September 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Just “stumbled upon” your page. Your publix brand stuff makes me homesick. The recipe looks good too!


32 Karen Bove September 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thanks. I love Publix!


33 jes September 23, 2010 at 11:51 pm

this looks awesome, can’t wait to try my hand at it.
one question though: what’s with the ultra-pasteurized cream?


34 Karen Bove September 24, 2010 at 8:31 am


Ultra pasteurized is what they have at Publix. Maybe there’s something different in the organic section but I never think to look there. Ultra pasteurized works just fine here though.


35 Diana October 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

It looks so tasty, and all those amazing photographs, I love your blog


36 nicola October 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I’m Italian. there’s no cream in carbonara.


37 Karen Bove October 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I know, I know. I’m part of a big Italian family too and I know that traditional carbonara doesn’t have cream but I’m not a purist. Call if something else if you must, but it still tastes divine.


38 jacki October 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I made this tonight and loved it! The tomatoes were an awesome addition. I used bacon instead of pancetta, because it’s what I had in the house. And I used extra, a little over a pound, because I love bacon. It wasn’t a typical carbonara, but I adored it nonetheless. Thanks! This one is a keeper!


39 Karen Bove October 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I know it’s not a traditional carbonara but it was, as much of my dishes are, something I threw together with what I had on hand.


40 Flavio October 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

tips: fry up b4 the onion, than add the pancetta and let them cook togheter.
don’t whisk the egg just leave them, and let all cook with the heat of the pasta


41 Amy Kirchhoff December 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Cream or no cream…This was yummy! I’m no professional or purist – just someone who likes good food and good ingredients. And this dish made me happy. :) Thank you!


42 shapewear December 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

This is an excellent recipe, very similar to mine. So many of the roman recipes leave out garlic and onion, but I find them quite supportive in this dish. If you want to get WAY better, use local free range eggs, and at the very end, poach an egg for each serving and place it on top.


43 karen December 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Your site is very well laid out – enjoyed it very much!


44 luca December 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

nononononono NO! and then no! there is no f****ng cream in carbonara. neither tomatoes (but for tomatoes is your chioche, as you like).

and then…pancetta have to fry WHIT onions and garlic and a bit of oil, togheter!

source: Italia


45 Karen Bove December 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Oh, you purists with all of your rules are amusing, especially when enforcing those rules must involve cursing and yelling. Call it whatever you like, carbonara or not. It still tastes good which is what matters most in the end :)


46 Shadi January 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Too bad people gotta bash you for calling it carbonara, really doesnt matter, looks deeelicious =)


47 Kelly January 21, 2011 at 2:23 am

this is a wonderful recipe and your photos? Well. Really nicely done. I’d love a plate right now ;)


48 Jocelyn February 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

The recipe looks amazing and I will definitely try it, but your spelling is incorrect on so many words, including the title of the dish. I don’t think that many people would be able to search for this because of all the spelling errors.


49 tony March 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

I don’t care whether cream is “traditional” or not..I saw the pictures and I’m making this for my family tonight, though using bacon as it’s what we have already :D
..might try the poached egg on top – saw a brilliant way of cooking them earlier…


50 Glenn April 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Saw the great photos for this recipe. I’ve made fettuccine alfredo before but never carbonara so tried it. It turned out to be amazingly delicious! My teenage daughters, one a picky eater and the other a connoisseur raved over it. It’s the best fettuccine any of us has ever tasted *anywhere*!! Next time will probably use bacon rather than super-expensive pancetta though. You must have spent $20 for 3/4 of a pound. Anyway, thanks for sharing!!


51 Karen Bove April 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Thanks, Glenn!

Pancetta is probably about $10/lb at the Publix deli so although it’s more pricey than bacon, I’m willing to pay for the great flavor.


52 Libby April 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I don’t care what you call it. I just made it, and it was DELICIOUS. To the point where I had to tell you so. Italian name or not, this is now a keeper in my house. Thank you!!


53 Laura April 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Just made this for my family…DELICIOUS!!!


54 Kristy August 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

I really like your recipe :)
You might also like to try the below.



55 karenbove August 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

That looks yummy!


56 Aga Artka September 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Used bacon instead of pancetta, because that’s what we had in the house. Cherry tomatoes came from our garden, so did purple basil. Oh, so good. I’m almost wondering if this wasn’t my best pasta dish ever. Appreciate the photo-based recipe post.


57 karenbove September 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Bacon works just fine. I’m all about improv! Glad you enjoyed it….


58 JoJo April 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Hilarious that you share a delicious recipe and get called out on ‘the name’ . I also have adapted a traditional carbonara recipe to my own tastes. That what cooking is, putting a bit of who you are into the food you love for the people you love. Haven’t tried it with tomatoes but I may just do that when I get around to planting some in the uk. I can imagine the flavour cuts through the salty pancetta and creamy sauce beautifully. I also make mine with cream. Sort of a carbonara/Alfredo hybrid. Who knows, if people spent more time trying new things, they may have less time to sieve through the internet slating people for adding cream to recipes. Com on people, this is a lovely lady sharif delicious food ideas, there are far more serious problems in the world for you to get excited about.


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