Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara

Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara

25 reviews, 4.2 star(s). 84% would make again

Ready in 25 minutes

Many versions of carbonara use American style smoked bacon whose smoky accents can sometimes overwhelm the dish. Some Roman versions use salted pork jowl, which is not smoked and much sweeter than bacon (somewhat difficult to find outside of Italy). My version uses pancetta (Italian salt cured bacon), which supplies a comparably rounded and mellow flavor. Also, my version does not use whole eggs. I use egg yolks...I use multiple egg yolks...along with a little heavy cream to create an unctuously rich and luscious sauce. Mmm Mmm good!


4 ounces Spaghetti; (or other pasta like fettuccini, linguine, or tortellini)
4 ounces Pancetta; cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 large Egg yolks
1/4 cup Heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 Green onions; sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cloves Garlic; finely minced
1/8 cup Pasta cooking water; (up to 1/4 cup)
Salt and black pepper; freshly ground
Pecorino Romano cheese; (optional)

Original recipe makes 2 Servings



Add olive oil to a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and onion and continue cooking and stirring until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (just tender).

In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, cream, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Just before the pasta is finished cooking, remove 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and slowly whisk into the egg yolk mixture (to temper eggs), beating vigorously to prevent eggs from scrambling.

Quickly drain the pasta in a colander and return to pot. Immediately toss in the egg and pancetta mixtures, stirring the spaghetti continuously to both cook the eggs and coat the pasta. Serve immediately in heated bowls with a healthy grind of black pepper and season with salt to taste. Top with grated Pecorino Romano, if desired

Fresh asparagus is a wonderful side dish with this meal and a good Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc washes it down nicely.


If you can't get pancetta, you can substitute ordinary bacon, but ham would be a better choice.

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Calories Per Serving: 2543 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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Carbonara Spaghetti

A variation on this recipe

"A simple dish at first glance, but this traditional recipe is deceptively complicated in its many levels of flavor." — Firebyrd Firebyrd


I recommend pairing it with this recipe

stevemur stevemur

Link in another recipe. What would you serve with this?

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Tried this using leftover whole grain pasta and it was wonderful! If you use leftover pasta, about 20 oz. seems to do two nice servings and good sauce. I will definitely make again!
PatriciaWhited 2y ago

Omg! Heaven! I think the recipe is perfect! With the cream fattening or not - I just don't make it a lot;) Pancetta is delicious! I love green onion and I did think it sounded like a lot but it was perfect amount if you don't love them then you could do less. Its like breakfast in a warm bowl of pasta and don't forget the cheese on top;)
Bella0528 2y ago

Yuck! I thought I liked pancetta, but I guess not.
magnus777 2y ago

I have made this several times. I cut back on the number of green onions and am careful to pre-cook bacon and pour off most all the grease. I prefer the taste and health benefits of olive oil. Excellent dish.
Porpo83 2y ago

Don't fight it...just do it!
dmanderson1 2y ago

Absolutely brilliant! Will be making it again
aaron_matheson1 3y ago

Great recipe and great taste
Bajechick 3y ago

Simple to cook and my fiance loved it!
MikeNRoss 3y ago

Dump the cream for a more authentic carbonara
snapper_79 3y ago

Pretty good. My husband loved it!
Kimrobillard 3y ago

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