Spaghetti Carbonara is a timeless classic and it’s easier and quicker to make than you may think. Some recipes include cream, but the traditional dish gets its subtle creaminess from a combination of very gently cooked eggs, Parmesan cheese, and starchy pasta water. This isn’t a difficult dish to make if you follow my instructions, especially about removing the pan from the heat and letting it cool a little before adding the eggs to the pasta. If the pan is too hot, the eggs will scramble instead of creating that silky smooth sauce. This makes for a great dinner on busy nights, since it takes less than 15 minutes to make and uses simple ingredients you may already have on hand. It also features bacon, and you can never go wrong with bacon! If you want to add some vegetables, a simple side salad would be a great accompaniment.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Can Spaghetti Carbonara be reheated?

Carbonara is best made and served immediately as the sauce will absorb into the pasta and is tastiest when fresh. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

When do you add egg to spaghetti carbonara?

This recipe calls for the egg mixture to be added at the last step, once the heat has been turned off completely.

Can you make Spaghetti Carbonara ahead of time?

Spaghetti Carbonara is best made and served immediately.

Is Spaghetti Carbonara suitable for leftovers?

Spaghetti Carbonara leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The sauce will absorb into the pasta and is tastiest fresh.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

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5 from 1 review

This Spaghetti Carbonara is a quick and easy dinner that comes together in less than 20 minutes with only a few ingredients in a luxurious creamy sauce. 

  • Total Time: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup (67 g) Parmesan, freshly grated
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 400 g (14 oz) spaghetti
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pasta water, reserved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove,
  • 350 g (12 oz) bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; season with the salt.
  2. Place the egg yolks, Parmesan and pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a fork to combine. Set aside.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente (I normally cook it for 2 minutes less than what the packet instructions say to avoid overcooking). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before straining.
  4. Crush the garlic clove using your hand. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat, add the garlic clove and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the bacon and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden.
  6. Remove the garlic from the pan. Add the cooked pasta and, using tongs, toss the pasta in the hot pan to take on all the flavour of the bacon and garlic.
  7. Remove the pan completely from the heat. Allow to cool for at least 1 minute. Toss half of the reserved pasta water through the spaghetti and then pour in the egg mixture. The residual heat from the pan will cook the eggs gently rather than scramble them. Add the remaining pasta water until the sauce is at your desired consistency.



Carbonara is best made and served immediately.


Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days but the sauce will absorb into the pasta and is tastiest when fresh.


Source – Recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver’s classic Spaghetti Carbonara which you can view here.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: pan fry
  • Cuisine: Italian