Bacon lovers, unite! Although technically the original Pasta Carbonara recipe called for pancetta, I don’t think my Sicilian nana would mind that I substituted bacon instead. Because, well, bacon is a basic food group at our house. This creamy pasta dish uses bacon, eggs and cheese to make a quick and delicious dinner on a busy weeknight.
Growing up in a big Sicilian family, we had lots of gatherings that centered around food. In our family, food equals love – and we sure got a lot of good love! One of our favorite dishes has always been pasta, and this easy Pasta Carbonara recipe is still a family pleaser.
When I was a kid, we’d gather in the kitchen as pots were boiling, the oven was baking, and something was always bubbling on the stove top. This is how we learned to cook, since there were no recipes written down. A dash of this and a sprinkle of that, and it all came together to become something delicious. So, this easy Pasta Carbonara recipe from my Sicilian Nana had to be figured out from scratch. I updated it a bit for modern tastes, and here is the recipe.
Easy Pasta Carbonara Recipe from my Sicilian Nana
- 1 egg and 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cream or half and half
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (yes they do taste different)
- 4 slices of bacon (Nana used Italian pancetta, but bacon is easier to find and less expensive.)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Chopped parsley
- 1 lb pasta – spaghetti is preferred but linguini works too
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, with a healthy dash of salt.
Beat eggs and mix in cream and cheeses. Add pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.
Cut bacon strips into squares and fry at medium high in large pan with olive oil, onions and garlic, careful not to cook until crispy.
Turn off heat when bacon is cooked limp and leave in pan.
Boil pasta until cooked just al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
Put drained pasta in pan with bacon mixture, and heat on medium for about a minute or so.
Add egg and cheese mixture to pan and stir well over heat quickly. Turn off heat.
Add pasta water a little at a time and stir for added creaminess.
Easy Pasta Carbonara Recipe – Serve and Enjoy
Put into large bowl and serve immediately with parsley sprinkle on top. Have cheese on the side for those that like more (like my kids).
This whole process of making this easy pasta carbonara recipe takes less than 30 minutes. Serve with green salad and some crusty sourdough bread, and you are now a family dinner hero.
My Nana would be so proud of you!
For other pasta recipes from my Italian family kitchen, try: