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Carbonara Recipe Card


Welcome to the heart and soul of Italian cuisine – Carbonara. It's more than a dish; it's a journey through love, tradition, and fond memories. This recipe holds a special place in my heart, connecting me to cherished moments with my Grandpa. I can vividly recall those days when he would announce that the Carbonara was ready, and I would race down the stairs with eager anticipation. This dish is a treasure trove of memories, from my childhood to my adventures studying abroad in Italy, where I decided to add a twist with the introduction of peas. So, let's dive into the secrets behind crafting the perfect Carbonara, inspired by my Grandpa's legendary recipe and my own Italian experiences. Together, we'll embark on an enchanting journey through the world of this classic Italian masterpiece.


Download and print this recipe card below!

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  • 12 ounces of spaghetti, pici, or bucatini pasta

  • 2 large eggs and 2 large yolks––at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 oz pancetta––sliced into ¼ in thick pieces

  • 5 slices thick cut bacon––sliced into ¼ in thick pieces

  • 12 ounces spaghetti

  • 1 cup frozen peas, if desired


Step 1: Cook the Pasta

***If you are using Pici or Bucatini pasta, then please allow for an additional 10 minutes to cook the pasta. These are thicker pastas and require more time to cook through***

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.

  2. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water – this is your chance to season the pasta itself.

  3. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.

  4. Remember to reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

  5. *If you are using Pici or Bucatini pasta, then please allow for an additional 10 minutes to cook the pasta. These are thicker pastas and require more time to cook through.


Step 2: Sauté the Bacon & Pancetta

  1. In a skillet over low-medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crispy. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.

  2. Once the bacon is cooked, wipe the skillet with a paper towel.

  3. Add the tablespoon of bacon grease into the skillet and add in the diced pancetta. Cook until it becomes crispy and golden brown.

  4. If desired, you can add a splash of olive oil to help render the fat.

  5. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy meat onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.


Step 3: Prepare the Egg Mixture

  1. In a bowl, crack the eggs and whisk them until well beaten.

  2. Add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese to the eggs and mix until you have a creamy, well-combined mixture.


Step 4: Combine and Toss

  1. Once the pasta is cooked, immediately transfer it to the skillet with the sautéed pancetta & cooked crumbled bacon.

  2. Toss the pasta in the rendered fat, allowing it to absorb the rich flavors. Remove the skillet from heat temporarily.


Step 5: Add the Egg Mixture

  1. Here comes the crucial step! Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta.

  2. Working quickly, toss the pasta and egg mixture together. The heat from the pasta will gently cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce.

  3. If the mixture appears too thick, gradually add a bit of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.

  4. Add in the frozen peas (if you're including them) so they heat up with the sauce.


Step 6: Season and Serve

  1. Grind some freshly cracked black pepper over the pasta and give it a final toss.

  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed – keep in mind that the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese already adds a salty element.


As we savor the last bites of this delectable Carbonara, we're reminded that food is more than sustenance; it's a journey through tradition, memory, and a touch of personal innovation. My Grandpa's recipes continue to inspire, and I hope you've found inspiration in adding a little bit of your own story to this timeless dish. Whether you're following tradition to the letter or embracing your own twist, one thing is certain – Carbonara has a unique ability to bring people together, one delicious bite at a time.




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