Spaghetti Carbonara

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Here’s a fabulous recipe for the best pasta dish ever:  Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara on a white plate set on a red napkin

This recipe is aligned with the classic Italian way to make carbonara… except for the peas.  I’ve added peas- which is not what you see in Italy.  Regardless, my entire family didn’t have any trouble scraping up every last bit of this pasta- probably because I made sure there was plenty of crispy pancetta included.

Spaghetti Carbonara on a white plate

Italian Vacation:

I was recently in Italy on an Insight Vacations Luxury Gold tour.  It was an incredible trip… filled with endless amounts of Italian food and fine wine, visits to ancient historical locations and quaint towns, luxury hotel accommodations, meeting new friends and a ton of laughter.  It truly was the trip of a lifetime.  Being on a tour was really nice– I find that I see a lot more than I would if I were just going it alone. Insight makes the trip so much fun, and you’re given plenty of time to explore on your own.  I have shared more about my trip to Italy in my travel section

Florence, Italy view toward bridge on river

One of our stops on the trip was in Florence.  This is a view from the Uffizi Gallery looking out toward the Arno River.

Carbonara on a fork in Venice, Italy

I sampled carbonara in Florence (no peas)…

RecipeGirl with Amarone in Venice, Italy

… and again in Venice.  Clearly, I’m enamored with carbonara– always have been!  It was one of the first things I made for my family when I returned from my trip.  My husband and I have always adored Amarone, so I ordered a bottle (and a second) to enjoy with our group dinner.  My teenager told me I look tired in this photo.  I didn’t tell him it was probably the wine 🙂

Boat scene in Venice, Italy

Venice was GORGEOUS.  Traveling through the canals on a gondola was truly enjoyable.  I loved gazing at the rustic buildings, restaurants, hotels and residences lining the canals.  The gondola sailing behind us had a guitarist who was serenading the whole scene.  It was your typical dreamy Venezian experience.

overhead shot of Spaghetti Carbonara on a white plate set on a red napkin with a fork and fresh basil leaves on the side

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara:

Back to the task at hand here– the Spaghetti Carbonara… you must try it.  If you order carbonara in the US, you’re likely to get a cream-filled, butter-laden pasta dish.  A classic Italian carbonara doesn’t have any cream or butter in it. I’m sharing the classic sort of recipe.  My husband took two bites and excitedly said, “Honey- you can put this dish in the regular rotation!”

Three thumbs up from my family on my recipe for carbonara. I hope you like it too- enjoy!

Here are a few more Italian pasta recipes you might like to try:

overhead shot of spaghetti carbonara on a white plate set on a red napkin
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Spaghetti Carbonara

A lovely version of carbonara with peas!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 759kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword carbonara, spaghetti


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces chopped pancetta or bacon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces spaghetti


  • Put a large pot of water on to boil.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, peas, basil and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until it is browned.  Spoon the pancetta to the side of the pan and scoop out all of the pancetta grease except for about 1 tablespoon.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant- about 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook until liquid is reduced by about half.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the water is boiling, add the salt and spaghetti.  Boil pasta until it is al dente (slightly tender to the bite).  Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta water and set aside (see tips below).  Drain the pasta, then immediately add the pasta to the bowl with the egg mixture.  Toss to coat the pasta with the egg mixture and incorporate those ingredients throughout (the heat from the pasta will sufficiently cook the egg and melt the cheese).  Add the pancetta mixture to the pasta and toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.  Sprinkle individual servings with the remaining Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.


  • I like to save a little bit of the starchy pasta water in case you want to add a little more liquid to your pasta... if it's too dry or if you just like it more moist.  It's up to you!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 450mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 748IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 3mg


More Spaghetti Recipes...
Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Quirky Homemaker wrote:

    Looks wonderful! My hubby and I just got back from Europe as well. Your photos of Italy are so beautiful! This carbonara sounds awwwwesome! I love to see and hear about the “original” versions as opposed to our “americanized” versions. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet wrote:

    What an awesome trip and I’m seriously craving this carbonara!

  • Ginny McMeans wrote:

    What a wonderful trip!  I love Venice and Florence and Europe 🙂  You were so lucky to get to go and your Spaghetti Carbonara is extremely inviting.  I can just imagine all those flavors. 

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer wrote:

    OMG, this looks amazing! I don’t know if I am more jealous over the meal, or your trip 🙂

  • cookbook queen wrote:

    What an incredible trip — so so gorgeous! I have never ever made Carbonara. I’m adding it to the list to try!

  • Angélica wrote:

    I’ve been craving spaguetti for over a week! It’s a sign!! We are having carbonara tomorrow 

  • Karen wrote:

    I like any recipe that calls for ingredients that are staples in my kitchen. This looks delicious!

  • Annie wrote:

    What a fun trip!! This looks amazing, I love a good hearty pasta dish! 

  • Leslee wrote:

    I loved this dish when I was in Italy!!  Weird that we were in Italy at the same time and you were always 1 step ahead of where we were in Rome and Florence.

  • Tonia Larson wrote:

    Sounds like the trip of a lifetime! I can’t wait to try your spaghetti carbonara!

  • Bintu | Recipes from a Pantry wrote:

    I’ve wanted to visit Italy ever since I saw the movie Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and this post makes me want to hop a plane even more. I think it just moved up a couple notches in my bucket list. Until then I’ll try this carbonara for a taste of Italy at home 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures wrote:

    What an amazing vacation! This dish looks super delicious and comforting 🙂

  • Liz wrote:

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  • Sandy @ RE wrote:

    This is exactly how I love it, with fresh peas. What a great trip, Lori. TAKE ME BACK! 🙂