Fettucine Carbonara

August 31, 2011

When I came up with  Fettucine Carbonara with Roasted Tomatoes, it turned out to be not only delicious but one of my most popular posts.  It also generated a lot of  the “it’s not authentic, you can’t call it Carbonara if it has cream” kind of reaction from the purists.  Me?  I’m not such a purist.  There are plenty of Carbonara recipes that include cream and I don’t really care if they’re “authentic” or not, as long as they taste good.  Still, I was determined to cook up a dish of Carbonara that didn’t resemble scrambled eggs and bacon slopped together with pasta.  When the latest Williams-Sonoma catalog arrived, with a tempting photo of Carbonara on the cover, I was inspired.  Drawn from their recipe but changed up a bit to suit what I had on hand, it worked well.  Still, given the choice, I think I prefer a little cream.  What say you, dear readers?

  • Fettucine or Spaghetti, 1 lb dry or fresh
  • Pancetta, 2/3 lb
  • Garlic, 2 or 3 cloves
  • Parmesan, 1 1/2 to 2 cups grated plus more for the table
  • Eggs, 4
  • Olive Oil, a couple tablespoons
  • Black Pepper

Put the water on to boil for the pasta.  Dice the pancetta and mince the garlic.

Whisk the eggs to blend and grate the cheese.

Combine the eggs and cheese and set aside for now.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat then add the pancetta and garlic.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned then turn off the heat.  The water should be boiling by now.  Cook the pasta until it’s al dente.  Drain it but reserve the cooking water.

Dump the pasta into the skillet with the pancetta.  Turn the heat back on to low and add about a cup of the pasta water and toss it together quickly.

Now quickly whisk another 3/4 cup of the pasta water into the egg/cheese mixture.

Pour over the pasta and turn off the heat.

Toss it all together quickly, adding a little more water if necessary.  Season with black pepper.

Serve it up immediately with extra Parmesan.  Enjoy!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim Wilson August 31, 2011 at 11:31 am

Not even fair!! I am sitting here on a diet plateau and this is making my mouth water!!! You make it look so EASY to be a good cook!!


2 karenbove August 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

I shouldn’t be eating it either since I’m trying to get rid of a couple of pounds I picked up on vacation. But it’s so good! And it’s really not too hard.


3 shari August 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm

My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures! Looks sooooooooo yummy…..Cream? No Cream?
Who cares as long as it looks and tastes as good as your pictures show! Can ya fax me the leftovers
if there are any? You really had me on the picture of the browned pancetta………..


4 Pam August 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm

This looks delish, Karen.

I have not had Carbonara in so long. That pan of fried bacon just by itself would do me in. I wonder if it’s even possible to fry bacon without eating some of it before it makes it to the recipe or the table? I’ve never been able to accomplish it.



5 karenbove September 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

I know I can’t resist!


6 Sara February 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

I really like your recipe :) Thanks so much for sharing.
You might also like to try the below version.


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