Italian Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Nothing is more classic than Italian spaghetti carbonara! Inspired by the traditional Roman dish of guanciale, black pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, this creamy, silky sauce is sure to have your whole family drooling. Topped with fresh parsley, this is one dinner you’ll be making over and over again.


  • 6 ounces spaghetti or other long-strand pasta
  • 4 ounces guanciale, pancetta, or bacon, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large eggs, preferably pastured
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the guanciale until it’s crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat from the skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese until thoroughly combined.
  6. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Toss the pasta with the garlic and fat.
  7. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta and mix until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the reserved cooking liquid, one tablespoon at a time, to thin out the sauce if necessary.
  9. Stir in the guanciale, season with salt and pepper, and top with the parsley. Serve immediately.

One of the most popular Italian dishes around, Italian spaghetti carbonara is a creamy, rich pasta dish that comes together in less than a half hour. The combination of guanciale (or pancetta or bacon), garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese creates a decadent and flavorful sauce that clings to the strands of spaghetti or other long-strand pasta. Freshly chopped parsley adds a hint of freshness to round out the dish.

Carbonara is one of those easy business meals that can be thrown together in a pinch, but is also special enough to be served when entertaining. Serve this Italian classic with a green salad, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, and listen to the chorus of “Buon appetito!” that follows.