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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pasta alla Carbonara

This week's challenge for the Comfort Food Feast on FN Dish was to make a comforting pasta dish.  Now, there are so many comforting pasta dishes out there, that I wasn't sure where to start! Images of macaroni and cheese, stuffed shells, lasagna, baked ziti, four-cheese pasta, and many more ran through my head! But then it hit me! Pasta alla Carbonara.  Pasta carbonara is an egg and cheese based dish from Rome, and it is also one of the first pasta dishes that I can remember my grandmother making for me.

Although Pasta alla Carbonara is traditionally made with spaghetti, you can feel free to get creative and use fettuccine, bucatini, gemelli, rigatoni, and more! Additionally, the dish is also traditionally made with eggs, cheese, pepper, and pancetta, but when I have extra peas, I will throw them in as well to add a little more green to the dish.  Try making your own pasta too - it is a lot of fun and it just makes the dish that much more comforting! If you want to make your own pasta dough, click here for the recipe and directions.

Pasta alla Carbonara 

-1 lb spaghetti (or homemade pasta dough)
-1/4 pound pancetta, chopped (approx.)
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-4 large eggs (use 6 eggs if you are making a larger batch of pasta)
-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Chopped parsley leaves
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Optional: 1/2 cup cooked of peas

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a little salt and the pasta to the water.  Cook until al dente for about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a saute pan and add a little olive oil.  Put the pancetta in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until the pancetta is crisp.  Add the garlic and cook for about one more minute.  Turn off the heat and set aside (make sure you keep all of the fats/oils from the pan too).

Reserve 1/2 of a cup of pasta cooking water.  Then, remove the pasta from the heat and strain the pasta.  Return the pasta to the pot and pour in the pancetta and its fat/oil to the pasta.  Stir until the pasta is lightly coated with the pancetta fats.  Add the peas if using.

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the Parmesan cheese to the egg mixture.  Once combined, add the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta, stirring quickly so that the eggs do not cook.  The eggs will start to thicken, so you can add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce up if desired.

Season the pasta with a little salt and pepper, top with parsley and Parmesan cheese, and serve warm.  Enjoy!

The Cultural Dish:Pasta Carbonara
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Feed Me Phoebe:Green Eggs and Ham: Pasta Carbonara With Zucchini and Crispy Prosciutto
Red or Green?:Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta
Napa Farmhouse 1885:Pasta With Apple-Sage Sausage, White Beans and Greens
Jeanette's Healthy Living:A Healthier Crock-Pot Meat Lovers Pasta Sauce
Dishin & Dishes:Skillet Gnocchi
The Heritage Cook:Macaroni and Cheese for Everyone
Devour: Low-Key Lasagna
Virtually Homemade:Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese With Crispy Bacon
Cooking With Elise:Scallops and Linguini
Big Girls, Small Kitchen:Swiss Chard Lasagna
And Love It Too:Baked Spaghetti With Zucchini Noodles
FN Dish:The Most Satisfying Pasta Dishes Pin It


  1. Love, love, LOVE carbonara! You're making me want it tonight! Beautiful photos as well!

  2. This looks delish!! Definitely hungry for this now!

  3. I love cheesy pasta like this and looks so easy to cook in a short time. Yummy!