Simple Pasta Carbonara

5 from 2 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Quick, easy, and a pure delight to the tastebuds, this Pasta Carbonara Recipe is simplicity at its finest. It’s made all in one Dutch oven, making any busy weeknight dinner a breeze. 

The spaghetti gets cooked in a garlicky, creamy sauce made of pecorino cheese, crispy pancetta, and more to create one of the easiest, most delicious pasta recipes your hands have ever made. Period!

email me this recipe
Plus, enjoy weekly doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
A bowl of spaghetti with bacon and parmesan.

I love making this spaghetti carbonara as an ode to the family vacation we took to Italy a few years ago. We stayed in Umbria, beautiful wine country, and had the most amazing carbonara and knew we had to recreate it for the blog.

When I say this pasta carbonara is easy to make, I mean E-A-S-Y. Just cook the pasta, make the cheese sauce, create the meaty, aromatic base, and bring it all together. 

What’s In Pasta Carbonara

  • Spaghetti: we kept it classic and used spaghetti for this recipe. It cooks evenly and tastes great with the carbonara sauce.
  • Pancetta: thick, salty slices of pancetta are perfect for this easy carbonara recipe. It adds a rich, smoky flavor to the dish.
  • Dry white wine: we used Sauvignon Blanc, as we find it pairs well with the cheese and pancetta. This is used to deglaze the pan and enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • Anchovy paste: anchovy paste adds an umami flavor to the dish,  making it taste richer and more complex.
  • Eggs: eggs are essential in creating the creamy sauce that coats the spaghetti.
  • Pecorino romano: a perfect combination of nutty and salty, pecorino romano is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. It gives the carbonara sauce its signature flavor.
Ingredients for spaghetti and meatballs on a white background.

Variations and Substitutions

This classic pasta carbonara can be easily mixed and matched to suit your taste preferences. If you don’t have spaghetti, any long pasta type, such as fettuccine or linguini, will work just fine. And if you’re not a fan of pecorino romano cheese, you can use parmesan cheese instead for a slightly milder flavor.

Thick-cut bacon is a great substitute for Pancetta. Just chop it into small pieces and cook it until crispy. You can also add some vegetables like peas, mushrooms, or asparagus to make the dish more hearty and nutritious.

A pot of spaghetti with bacon and orange juice.

Top Tips for Pasta Carbonara

  • To help the pasta water cool off quickly, place it in the fridge for a few minutes before using it to make the sauce. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling when they’re added to the hot pasta water.
  • Don’t overcook the pancetta. Cook it until it’s just crispy, not burnt, as it can make the dish taste bitter. 
  • Mix quickly and thoroughly. Once you add the egg mixture to the pasta, work quickly and mix well to ensure that all of the spaghetti is coated evenly with the creamy sauce.
Pasta with bacon and parmesan in a white bowl.

Storage + Freezer Directions

Place any leftover carbonara in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

To freeze, place in a freezer-safe, airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

dutch oven on plain background.

Great Jones

Dutch Oven

The Great Jones “The Dutchess” is our favorite Dutch oven for every day cooking. It’s great for one-pot meals, soups, and more!

A plate of spaghetti with bacon and parmesan.

What to Serve with Pasta Carbonara

There are a whole bunch of ways to make this Pasta Carbonara an even more epic meal. For one, you could make this delicious Grilled Bruschetta Chicken and serve it over your pasta or on the side. 

You could also enjoy this pasta dish next to a tasty Chicken Caesar Salad to add a refreshing element to the meal.

We also love how this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus and Grilled Zucchini can add some extra veggies and flavors to the dish.

5 from 2 votes

Simple Pasta Carbonara

This simple pasta carbonara is super easy and comforting, making it a delicious and nourishing meal for those busy weeknights. The combination of cheese, pancetta, and pasta is a classic for a reason — it's simply delicious!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
email me this recipe
Plus, enjoy weekly doses of recipe inspiration!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • 16 oz. spaghetti
  • 8 oz. pancetta, diced
  • ½ large white onion , minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic , peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, we used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • cup whole milk
  • ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano, + more for topping
  • ¼ cup starchy pasta water
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the pot before straining the pasta. Set pasta aside, but try to keep the pasta warm.
  • Next, add the eggs, whole milk, and pecorino cheese to a large bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle ¼ cup of the warm (not hot) pasta water into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Be sure the pasta water is not hot, or it will scramble the eggs. Set aside.
    A bowl of yellow liquid with a whisk in it.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the pancetta to the Dutch oven and cook for 4-5 minutes until partially cooked.
    Bacon in a blue pot on a white surface.
  • Add the onion and garlic and season with salt. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Deglaze the Dutch oven with white wine. Pour the wine into the pan and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Then, whisk the anchovy paste into the white wine.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the Dutch oven and toss it with all of the ingredients.
    A pan full of spaghetti with bacon in it.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the pot has had time to cool, slowly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta and constantly stir to be sure the egg doesn’t scramble.
    A pot of spaghetti with bacon and orange juice.
  • When the egg mixture becomes creamy and warm, serve with cracked pepper, shredded cheese, and chopped parsley. Be sure the Dutch oven isn’t hot, or else the eggs will scramble.
    A bowl of spaghetti with bacon and parmesan.

Tips & Notes

  • Any long pasta type can be used for this recipe.
  • Option to place the starchy pasta water in the fridge for a few minutes to help it cool off.
  • Parmesan cheese can be used in place of pecorino romano.


Calories: 549 kcal, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Protein: 22 g, Fat: 23 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

love this? leave a comment below!

Don’t forget to tag your posts on social media with the hashtag #fitfoodiefinds, we’d love to see what you’re up to!

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.

Similar Recipes:

About Emily Richter

Emily is Fit Foodie Finds' editor-in-chief. She has a master's degree in strategic communication, and a passion for food. She is an incredible at-home cook making her writing an important part of the content creation process.

0 0 votes
Recipe Rating
Notify of
Recipe Rating

Recipe Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 5, 2024 4:16 am

5 stars
The use of classic ingredients like spaghetti, pancetta, and pecorino cheese, combined with a touch of anchovy paste and white wine, promises a rich and flavorful dish. The versatility in ingredient substitutions, such as using thick-cut bacon or different types of pasta, makes it adaptable to various preferences and pantry stocks. The top tips provided, such as chilling the pasta water to prevent scrambled eggs and avoiding overcooking the pancetta, are practical and ensure a smooth cooking process. This recipe not only offers a quick and easy meal but also brings a sense of nostalgia and culinary adventure to your dinner table.

June 13, 2024 5:00 am

5 stars
It’s delicious! I love it!