Pasta Carbonara is a creamy, cheesy pasta tossed with crisp prosciutto and bright English peas. It’s a classic Italian recipe made with simple, quality ingredients!
Pasta Carbonara is one of those dinner ideas that is so good you assume it has to be difficult to make. Then, when you finally give it a try, you wonder why you waited so long. Pasta Carbonara only requires a few simple ingredients, pasta, eggs, hard cheese, olive oil, garlic, prosciutto, and English Peas. Some versions even skip the peas but I love the bright flavor and hint of sweetness they add!
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Whenever we go out to a new Italian restaurant I order Pasta Carbonara. It’s one my of favorite pasta dishes and it gives me a good sense of the restaurant. Turning simple ingredients into an amazing carbonara pasta is what Italian food is all about to me, and today I’m showing you how to do it at home!
What is Pasta Carbonara
- Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, guanciale (an Italian cured meat product), and pepper. Usually, Pecorino Romano and spaghetti are used. However, fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also used and other hard Italian cheeses like Romano.
How to Make Pasta Carbonara
Start by adding a little EVOO to a dutch oven or deep skillet (you’ll want it to be big enough to hold your pasta later) and cook the diced, or thinly sliced, prosciutto until it is crisp. Set the prosciutto aside and pour off the oil from the pot saving about 3 tablespoons to add back (if you don’t have 3 tablespoons you can add more olive oil to equal 3 tablespoons). In a bowl whisk together the eggs and cheese. This mixture of eggs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese makes the creamy sauce for the pasta.
I suggest waiting to cook your pasta until the first steps are done because you’ll want hot pasta for the final step. Cook your spaghetti in water generously salted with sea salt and when it is cooked to a perfect al dente use a heat-proof measuring cup to reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the reserved oil back to your dutch oven and heat it over medium heat. As soon as it is warm add your cooked and drained pasta, then slowly pour the egg mixture over it stirring and turning the pasta to coat it. The eggs cook in the heat of the pasta and make a cheesy, creamy sauce that perfectly coats the spaghetti. If it becomes a little dry you can add the pasta water, a small amount at a time, to loosen the pasta up. Then add your prosciutto, English peas, and a little salt and pepper and your carbonara pasta recipe is ready to serve!
Want more family-favorite pasta recipes?
- Alfredo Pasta
- Pizza Pasta Bake
- Creamy Caprese Pasta
- One Pot Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Cajun Chicken Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
- More dinner recipes…
Tools used to make this Pasta Carbonara recipe
Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential for everything from dinner to desserts. I use mine all the time and with proper care, it’ll last for years and years.
Whisk: This is my favorite set of whisks. There’s a size for every job and the thicker handles give me a good grip.
Heat-Proof Measuring Cup: Glass measuring cups are a kitchen tool everyone needs. This set makes sure you can measure exactly how much liquid you need for your recipe and they last practically forever!
Wooden Spoon: Wooden spoons are a kitchen essential. I keep a bunch of them on hand for every meal from breakfast to dinner.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced or diced
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup frozen English peas thawed
- salt & pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a dutch oven or deep skillet and cook the prosciutto over medium-high heat until it is crisp.
- Set prosciutto aside and pour off the oil from the pot saving about 3 tablespoons to add back (if you don't have 3 tablespoons you can add more olive oil to equal 3 tablespoons).
- In a bowl whisk together the eggs and cheese.
- Cook your spaghetti, according to package instructions, in water salted with Sale Marino di Trapani (PGI Italian Sea Salt). When it is cooked to a perfect al dente use a heat-proof measuring cup to reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Add the reserved oil back to your dutch oven and heat it over medium heat.
- Once the oil is warm add your cooked and drained pasta, then slowly pour the egg mixture over it stirring and turning the pasta to coat it. If it becomes a little dry add the pasta water, a small amount at a time, to loosen the pasta up.
- Add your prosciutto, English peas, and toss together until the peas are warmed through.
- Serve with a little extra Parmigiano Reggiano and salt and pepper to taste.