Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
This recipe is right at the top the list as one of my husband's favorite comfort food meals. This recipe isn't recommented with pasta that has ridges or curls. It is a sauce that is meant to coat the pasta or spaghetti and served immediately. The quanity of sauce is ample for this recipe when using the correct pasta type.
- 8 ounces pancetta, diced
- fresh ground black pepper
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb penne pasta (smooth style pasta, no ridges or spirals)
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Heat a large sauté pan, until hot. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, remove pan from heat.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and cream. Season with pepper. Stir in 1 cup of Parmesan, reserving ¼ cup for garnish.
- In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted boiling water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse with water; you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick. While the pasta is still hot, return it back to the pot.
- Add the browned pancetta and mix well.
- Add the cream mixture and coat the pasta completely.
- It's important to work quickly while the pasta is still warm so that the cream mixture will cook, but not curdle.
- Add remaining Parmesan and chopped parsley. Serve immediately as the pasta will absorb the sauce and the dish will become dry as it cools.
- Please note: Carbonara sauce is meant to be used on a Penne style pasta or a spaghetti so the sauce coats the pasta. One reviewer used a corkscrew/rotini style pasta causing the sauce to become trapped in the spirals and the pasta was dry. Also to the same reviewer most Carbonara dishes are very a simple sauce and do not add garlic or mushrooms.
This recipe has potential. I halved the recipe, but increased the pancetta to 12 ounces. (I have a teenage boy to feed!) Otherwise, I made as posted. My DS felt it didn't have enough sauce, and that it was very bland tasting. I wanted to add garlic to this as I was cooking it, but wanted to stay true to the recipe. Next time I will increase the amount of cream (will probably use half & half) to make the sauce creamier. I will also add some roasted garlic cloves and some sauteed mushrooms to the mix. I made this for PAC Spring 2009!