Bucatini Spaghetti and Carbonara Sauce

This creamy and delicious pasta and carbonara sauce is loaded with plenty of cheese and pork and tossed to perfection.  This is a classic Italian staple dish that you can easily prepare at home anytime.

The first time I ever ate Italian food in Japan, I went to a restaurant called “Italian Tomato”.  I tried their signature dish, spaghetti with carbonara sauce.  It was so good- creamy and delicious with plenty of cheese and pork- that I decided that I needed to be able to prepare this dish at home anytime I wanted to.

Since that day nearly 30 years ago, I have prepared this dish countless times, tweaking the recipe to get it just right.  Most people are surprised to find out that this creamy pasta does not contain any cream.  The egg and the fat from the pork combine to form a silky sauce and the cheese melts in to complete the dish.  I also found that adding garlic to the pancetta provide just the right flavor to round out the dish.

I also like to serve this dish with cracked black peppercorns- the pancetta is quite salty on its own so no additional salt is needed.

Enjoy this quick and easy pasta anytime you want – and please let me know in the comments how you like it!

Bucatini Carbonara topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Bucatini Spaghetti and Carbonara Sauce

Delicious pasta in a rich and creamy carbonara sauce is both easy to prepare and super satisfying. Check out the notes below for some cooking tips.

This may take a few tries to get just right. If the pasta is too cold then the cheese won’t melt and the egg with be raw. If it is too hot, the egg can scramble. The best way to cook this is to have all your ingredients ready to go when the pasta comes off the stove. Drain the pasta and let it cool slightly and move the hot pasta pot to a cold burner. The residual heat in the pan should be enough to cook the eggs and melt the cheese without the eggs clumping.

PREP COOKING YIELD
5 mins 15 mins Serves 1
PREP 5 mins
COOKING 15 mins
YIELD Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb bucatini (or spaghetti)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 100g (0.2 lbs) pancetta or fatty bacon, cut in sticks
  • 1 oz fresh grated pecorino Romano cheese plus additional cheese to top as desired (or substitute Parmigiana Cheese).

Instructions:

  • Grate the cheese.  Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and let them warm to room temperature.
  • Sauté the garlic and pancetta or bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and crispy.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Boil the pasta following the directions on the package until it is cooked but somewhat hard (al dente.)
  • While the pasta is cooking, beat the eggs together finely.  Try and be sure it is combined well with no yellow or white streaks.  Once well beaten, mix in the grated cheese.

  • Using 1 or 2 tablespoons of water from the pasta, mix in with the eggs to temper just before the pasta is ready to come off the stove.

  • Drain the pasta.  Remove the pasta pan from the stove and move onto a cutting board or an heated burner.  Leave the pasta in pan and add the pancetta.   Gradually pour in the egg mixture while tossing the pasta.

  • Serve the pasta in a bowl or on a plate.  Top with additional cheese, Italian parsley and/or cracked black pepper as desired.
Bucatini with Carbonara Sauce – serving suggestion

Notes:

  • Although the egg cooks when mixing into the pasta, raw eggs can still contain salmonella.  Use only pasteurized eggs that are certified for uncooked consumption in this recipe.
  • Guanciale is traditionally used as the meat in carbonara sauce.  However, it’s hard to come by where I am so I use pancetta.  Fatty bacon is also a good substitute.
  • Carbonara sauce does not traditionally use cream.  If you want a creamier sauce you can mix in an additional egg yolk.  You can also add a tablespoon or two of cream (at room temperature) to the pasta after the egg mixture is combined with it.
Creamy Bucatini Carbonara
  • Although you can use any pasta you want for this recipe, I highly recommend bucatini, which is the traditional pasta eaten with carbonara sauce.  Bucatini is a type of spaghetti which is tube shaped with a hollow middle and it has a large circumference.  This gives it plenty of surface area that the sauce can cover.
  • This recipe makes 1 serving.  Adjust the ingredients accordingly for the number of servings.

 

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