This creamy carbonara recipe is my go-to easy dinner, it’s good enough for a mid-week treat, or for a dinner party! It’s the meal I most often to go when we have guests coming over and I don’t really want to cook – so I keep it simple with this quick, easy and delicious carbonara.
Whilst the sauce is not made in the traditional way (original carbonara sauce is just cheese and eggs), the addition of cream in this recipe makes it easier to cook and means it keeps better for leftovers or if you’re not ready to serve it right away.
The most important step in this recipe is to remember to KEEP the pasta water – do not drain the water away once the pasta is cooked, as you need the water to form the sauce.
How to make easy, creamy carbonara – step by step
Scroll down for the ingredient list and printable recipe card
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil
2. Whilst the water is heating up, to a cup or jar, add 100ml single cream, 3 tbsp heaped parmigiano-reggiano cheese, pepper and 2x egg yolks
3. Mix this until its combined, then set aside
4. Then, add the dried spaghetti to the now boiling water
5. Then, heat another saucepan and add diced pancetta (or bacon) – cook this whilst the spaghetti is cooking
6. Cook the pancetta/bacon until its crispy. In this time – the spaghetti may now be fully cooked, once it’s cooked, turn the heat off but leave the spaghetti in the pan (DO NOT DRAIN AWAY THE WATER – this step is really important).
7. Then, add the spaghetti into the pancetta pan – bringing with it some pasta water
8. Then pour in the cream/cheese/egg mixture
9. Stir quickly to combine it all – if the mixture is dry add in some spoons of the pasta water until the sauce is smooth and glossy – then it’s ready to serve!
- Dried spaghetti for 4
- Pasta water (from the cooked spaghetti)
- 300g diced pancetta (or bacon)
- 3 tbsp grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese*
- 100ml Cream
- 2x egg yolks
- Pinch of black pepper to season
- Separate the eggs into whites and separate yolks
- In a jug or cup, mix together the cream, egg yolk, cheese and a pinch of black pepper- stir to combine
- Heat a large pan of water and once boiling - add the spaghetti in to cook (cook as per the packet instructions). As soon as the spaghetti is cooked turn the heat off but do not drain the liquid away - leave the spaghetti to sit in the water
- Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the pancetta (or bacon) - then fry until crisp
- Then, add the spaghetti into the meat pan - bringing with it some pasta water
- Next, stir the egg, and cream cheese mixture into the pan - mix quickly
- If the mixture is looking dry - add more pasta water (from the pan of cooked spaghetti) until the sauce is glossy and rich
- Now it's ready to serve!
If you can't get hold of Parmigiano-reggiano cheese you can use pecorino-romano or parmesan - I always use in grated form
Amount Per Serving Calories 505Total Fat 52gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 27gCholesterol 132mgSodium 105mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 13g
Nutritional data provided here is only an estimate. If you're tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!