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Bucatini alla Carbonara

Bucatini alla Carbonara

Bucatini alla Carbonara is probably one of my favorite pasta dishes. Carbonara is a Roman dish that combines eggs and cheese and turns them into a creamy sauce bursting with flavor. Although spaghetti is often served with Carbonara, I love how a thick bucatini handles this silky sauce.

Bucatini alla carbonara with pancetta and grated cheese

Carbonara is a work of art!

Rome, Italy is the birthplace of Carbonara. It is only fitting that this masterpiece comes from Rome. If there was ever a dish that was a work of art, this is it. It is absolutely genius that someone took raw eggs, combined them with fried pork and pecorino romano cheese and created such a rich silky sauce all in under 10 minutes. It takes longer to cook the pasta then to make this simple sauce.

You need simple ingredients

In authentic Roman recipes eggs, pecorino romano, guanciale (cured pork cheek) and black pepper are the only ingredients that create the sauce. I have modified the recipe slightly by substituting pancetta for the guanciale and adding some garlic. I use pancetta, just because it is easier to find in my local market and the garlic, well because we love it.

Is carbonara sauce made with cream?

You will notice that I have not mentioned heavy cream or cream of any kind in the ingredients for this recipe. That is because there is no cream in Carbonara. Many cooks outside of Italy use cream to make this sauce in order to create the silky texture. But I guarantee that you will not need to add any cream in order to achieve the creaminess of a perfect Carbonara.

Simple Bucatini alla Carbonara topped with pecorino romano and parsley

How to make Bucatini alla Carbonara

Prepare the sauce during the last few minutes of the pasta’s cook time.

Cook the pancetta and garlic over medium heat in a little olive oil.

Beat the eggs and the grated pecorino romano together in a bowl.

When the bucatini is cooked, strain it and add it to the pancetta and garlic. Mix it well and remove the skillet from the heat.

Immediately add the egg and cheese and quickly stir or toss the pasta. Continue to stir the pasta rapidly. The sauce will become creamy and silky as it coats the pasta. You want to do this off of the heat so that the egg cooks as it mixes with the hot pasta, but they do not scramble.

If you would like to thin the sauce out a bit you can add a little pasta water. Grind black pepper over the top, toss again and serve.

What to do with leftovers?

I wish I could tell you how to store leftovers but we have never had any! I am serious. If you happen to have any left over, let me know how it turns out.

FAQ

Can you make Carbonara ahead of time?

Carbonara should be enjoyed as soon as it is prepared. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

What can you substitute for Guanciale?

As with this version of the recipe, pancetta is an excellent substitute for guanciale. If you can’t find either in your grocery store, you can use bacon.

What is Bucatini?

Bucatini is a long hollow pasta that resembles and is often substituted for spaghetti. Because of it’s hollow center it is made using a pasta extruder rather than being rolled by hand.

Mixing bucatini in a carbonara sauce with chunks of pancetta.

Additional pasta recipes to try:

Caprese Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

Italian Pasta Broccoli

Pasta With Vodka Sauce and Sausage

Simple Spaghetti alla Carbonara topped with pecorino romano and parsley

Simple Spaghetti alla Carbonara

A creamy Italian favorite made with eggs and cheese. Simple authentic and delicious
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 554 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ¼ lb. Pancetta or Guanciale, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 cups Pecorino Romano grated
  • 4 Eggs large
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt for pasta water
  • 1 tbsp Parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta. Salt the water generously and stir to keep the spaghetti from sticking. Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes or until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot add the pancetta and cook for a minute or two.
  • When the pancetta starts to brown, add the garlic and cook just until it is tender.
  • Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and stir in the pecorino romano cheese.
  • When the pasta is cooked drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Immediately add the pasta to the skillet and toss well.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the egg and cheese to the pasta, tossing it quickly so that the egg does not scramble and the sauce becomes creamy.
  • You can add a bit of pasta water to the pasta if the sauce if you would like to thin it out if it is too thick.
  • Season with ground black pepper and parsley and serve with additional cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 6gCalories: 554kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 27gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 572mgPotassium: 283mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 360IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 391mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Carbonara, Spaghetti Carbonara, Spaghetti, Cheese, Carbonara sauce, eggs and cheese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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