Carbonara (Recipe)

Carbonara in a large bowl

Spaghetti alla carbonara (or just carbonara) is a rich pasta dish that gets its flavor from generous portions of cured pork, cheese, and black pepper.


  • 1 pound of dry spaghetti
  • 1 pound of thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Vegetables (optional, adjust based on preferences)
    • 1 large onion
    • 2 medium bell peppers
    • 1 cup of spinach

Serves: 6-8


  1. Cut the bacon into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. (If it’s packaged with the slices laid on top of each other, you can cut through all the slices at the same time.)
  2. Start frying the bacon in a large pan on medium heat.
  3. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then stir in the cheese and black pepper. (The cheese will still be solid at this point, but it will melt in the end.)
  4. Chop the vegetables and add them to the frying pan about halfway through the bacon cooking, depending on the vegetables. (For example, onions take longer to cook, so add them earlier.)
  5. Around the same time, start boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil, stir in the salt and add the pasta.
  6. When the pasta is tender, take 3-4 tablespoons of the water from the pot and stir it into the bowl with the eggs, cheese, and black pepper.
  7. Drain the pasta pot and let the pasta cool for a minute or two. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t settle.
  8. Slowly add the mixture of eggs, cheese, and black pepper to the pasta pot, while stirring the pasta constantly. Make sure the mixture is evenly distributed and the cheese is melted. (Put the pot back on the stove on low heat if the cheese isn’t melting.)
  9. When the bacon and vegetables are cooked, mix them into the pasta and serve.


  • You should not see any solid bits of egg at any point. If you do, let things cool down first before mixing.
  • There is already plenty of cheese and black pepper in this recipe, but you can add more if you want.
  • More authentic recipes call for guanciale or pancetta instead of bacon, and pecorino instead of Parmesan, but bacon and Parmesan are widely available so I used those for this recipe.
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Philip Chung
Philip Chung
Software Developer