Introduction: Homemade Carbonara

Picture of Homemade Carbonara

I just love carbonara!  I would say it is my favorite pasta/sauce.  I thought, it must be impossible to make something so delicious.  Well, it isn't!  It is very easy.  So I made it and promptly ate it all up (with some help).

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
This amount of ingredients fed my husband an I. The sauce was thick so it could serve 3.

Ingredients:
  • Pasta (I used enough for 2)
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (Grated is better, mine was just shredded but it worked out fine)
  • 1 Pkg. Bacon (I just really like bacon, you don't need this much)
  • 3/4 Cup Peas
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Eggs

Supplies:
  • Pot for boiling Pasta
  • Pot/Pan for Bacon
  • Bowl for mixing sauce ingredients
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cutting Board and Knife

Step 2: Get Everything Going

Picture of Get Everything Going
Bacon:
  • Cut up your bacon.  
  • If you don't want to cut it up, you can cook the full strips and try to break it up with your spoon as you cook it.  
  • Put a bit of olive oil in a pan and turn on the stove.
  • Throw in the bacon and start cooking!
  • (Mine made a mess of the pan since I was always stirring it so you may not want to do this if you really don't want to clean that mess.)
  • Drain the fat when it's done.
  • Either put it back in the same hot pan to wait, or if the pasta is ready, you'll be mixing it with that.
Pasta:
  • While the bacon is cooking, start heating up some water.  (You might want to do this before you start the bacon.)
  • Boil your pasta until it is cooked the way you like.
  • Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot.  (Go on to next step)

Peas:
  • Cook the peas.
  • That is all.

You are doing everything at the same time, but it's not bad at all.  I thought I would be going crazy running from one thing to another, but it isn't that much to do.  Cook up the peas and then just set them aside.  Boil water and we all know that takes forever and you just have to wait for it to happen.  You will spend most of this time preparing and cooking the bacon.  

Step 3: Mixing Time

Picture of Mixing Time
While your bacon and pasta is finishing up, mix up your sauce.  
  • Crack and beat your eggs.  
  • Once they are ready, mix in the whipping cream and parmesan cheese.  
Mix it all together!
  • Once the bacon and pasta is ready (ideally they will be ready at the same time), take everything off the heat and mix it all together in one of the hot pots you just used.  (Remember to drain the pasta first!)
  • Mix everything up.  You are using the heat from the pasta and bacon to cook the sauce. (I actually put it back on the stove on the very lowest setting for a couple minutes because my bacon and pasta didn't finish at the same time and I was afraid I didn't have enough heat to cook the eggs and cream properly.)
  • *Be careful not to scramble the eggs by cooking it on too high a heat, that is why you take the pasta and bacon off the heat before adding the egg mixture.
  • When everything is mixed up and heated up, stir in your peas and you are ready to eat.

Step 4: Eat It!

Picture of Eat It!

It is so good!  Eat it up!

*Note for reheating.  It's hard.  You need to carefully heat it up like you would with candy melts.  Otherwise you start to scramble the eggs.

Comments

scoochmaroo (author)2012-10-17

I love carbonara! And I love how you've simplified it here to make it so much easier , more affordable, and more accessible for a weeknight dinner on the fly. I've always had peas in my carbonara, so I'm excited to see you did too! It's such a versatile dish.

jhodges15 (author)2015-01-04

I'm a saute chef and at our place we cook a bacon carbonara. If you don't drain off the bacon grease, and instead reduce it with some white wine, then add the carb sauce, it's almost impossible to scramble the eggs. Just a suggestion! Because if you keep all of the bacon grease and reduce with the wine, the flavor is absolutely amazing.

Awesome tip! Thanks for sharing it :)

miamitreasure (author)2013-06-04

Great Job...ah a Woman who cooks Italian (sigh) !!

tonyre (author)2013-04-07

Hi, I'm Antonio, an Italian who loves carbonara and I'm sorry to see that this recipe is totally wrong. I would say that eating this mixture of ingredients the night in your belly there will be battagle yards as the Colosseum in Rome.
The peas then we got to do! ... therefore
Spaghettil 350 gr. Pillow-150 gr. - Pecorino cheese (not cheese) 100 gr.
  - Pepper to taste - Egg yolks 4 +1 whole

To prepare spaghetti carbonara to put a saucepan containing plenty of water to boil, moderately salty again, in view of the fact that the pasta has a very tasty sauce with bacon and cheese. Meanwhile cut the bacon into small cubes or strips, put it in a pan without adding oil and leave it on the fire until the fat becomes transparent and slightly crisp, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl then add the cheese and ground pepper (to taste). Antonio

Mix well all with the aid of a whip, then add the bacon.
Dropped the pasta and when it is ready, without skipping over the fire, drain and pour into the bowl and mix it together with the previously prepared sauce. Serve the spaghetti carbonara immediately and if necessary add more cheese and black pepper.
Excuse my correction Penolopy Bulnick and sorry my English I hope you do not prepare a ... pizza.
Hello Hello from Italy Antonio

bajablue (author)2013-01-19

This was delicious, Pen! I added butterflied Shrimp and used orecchiette instead of spaghetti and capers instead of peas.

Sorry, but the picture won't load! ;-(

artworker (author)2012-12-04

Never heard of carbonara. Super nice! Will try! And add to my restaurant breakfast menu!

Thanks! I really like this dish :)

Z0M8I3 (author)2012-10-17

Found yet another quick meal to make for the wife and I! Thank you for sharing, I've never heard of or had this but man does it look good! :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)Z0M8I32012-10-17

Thanks! I hope you both enjoy it!

csirna (author)2012-10-17

Hi, I am Italian and living in Italy.
I fully endorse astridinaz's comment. He is perfectly right about peas, garlic, pecorino and cream.
Actually the original receipe doesn't even mention bacon but "guanciale", which is lard from the pig’s cheek... anyway I don't feel any sensible difference between them: bacon is almost perfect.
Personally I am not against about experimentation and variations.
The most important thing I have to point out is that, looking at the pictures, it seems you have broken in two the spagetti to make them stay in the boiling pan. this is something to be avoided and it is totally unnecessary: in first place it makes them more difficult to be eaten: shortened spagetti cannot be easily twisted around the fork, and they "grab" less sauce when you twist them.
It is very difficult to do this with "shortened" spaghetti: http://comps.canstockphoto.com/can-stock-photo_csp1197428.jpg
and most of the sauce will remain in the plate.

in second place it very easy to cook them without breaking them:

1) Just put them in the hot boiling water like in this picture:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/-gYSTkAWjgFk/UAwu-kb1DSI/AAAAAAAABDo/U0Ufw4hhb2I/cdr-spaghetti-e-acqua.jpg

2) within 30 seconds, the submerged part will become flexible enough to allow you to push them all under the water without breaking them. Help yourself with a fork. you will see that it is easier do be done than to be told.

the "softening" of the submerged part very quickly: you will not feel any difference between the two parts that differ only in 30 seconds in cooking time.
This is not a trick: it is the rule of how spagetti should be really prepared.

Ciao

P.s: maybe you could find useful this video:
http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Spaghetti-alla-Carbonara.html
there is also the "watch in english" button...


Computothought (author)csirna2012-10-17

I think even Mariann Esposito, Mario Batali, and Lidia Bastanich each make it differently. Do not remember my Sicilian (Italian) mom ever making it, but then my Redneck stepfather kind of kept her from cooking such things. Most Italians do not follow recipes anyway, they use what ever is fresh and available. For that matter, Each part of Italy has their own version.

AussieAnglerGal (author)2012-10-16

wow this looks good :)
i might try it one day

Thanks, it's pretty tasty!

Orngrimm (author)2012-10-17

With peas? Thats new... :)
But hey: Sounds not bad at all. Will try it for sure.

Thanks for the idea and the 'ible!

Thanks for reading! I'm a big fan of peans anyway, so it just makes it even better for me :D

Computothought (author)2012-10-17

Never have put whipping cream in our carbonara, but I guess it makes it more interesting.

Yeah, I only saw one other recipe online that used it, but I thought it might change things up a bit :)

astridinaz (author)2012-10-17

Mmmm, it must be good but... this is not the original Italian carbonara.
Here is what's different to the traditional recipe: no peas, cheese is pecorino romano (sheep's cheese) not parmesan, no cream. and our bacon looks different...
@jpmarq: no please, no garlic at all!!!!
Anyway, your version looks succulent! Don't desperate, even in Italy most people don't have the carbonara the original way!Such a short list of ingredients and steps requires:1-excellent ingredients; 2-excellent cooks! It's much more difficult than it seems to be...

jpmarq (author)2012-10-17

I make a close version of this and everyone who has had it loves it although it is a rare meal since it is on the “it’s so good it can’t be good for you” list. Couple of quick tips:

If you are worried about the raw egg in the recipe then use an “egg beaters” type product, it is pasteurized. I like the raw egg when it is me and the wife, but when serving to friends I use this to be a little safer.

You are missing the GARLIC!!! If you have had it with and without then you can taste a difference. I cook the bacon a little early. Set it aside to drain and reserve a tablespoon amount of drippings in the pan. As the pasta is ready I turn the pan on and heat the drippings and add minced garlic to it. Once cooked (very quick, don't walk away) I add the pasta to it to give it a quick toss and then add the mixture and the pasta together. The garlic oil coats the pasta and adds to the goodness. Next morning make sure to get up early and run an extra mile for this decadence!

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