Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara |

This delicious spaghetti carbonara recipe is one of my all-time favorite of favorite of favorites.  It was actually one of the very first recipes I ever shared on Gimme Some Oven.  But I’m pretty sure that none of you ever saw it because the pictures were terrible.  Like, horribly-over-lit, sitting-on-a-neon-blue-backdrop, smothered-in-way-too-much-Parmesan-cheese, not-appetizing-AT-ALL ter-ri-ble.

I’ve learned that this is a common dilemma amongst food bloggers.  When we launch our blogs, we start by sharing tons of our best recipes right off the bat.  But that tends to be when our photography skills are (ahem) not the finest.  Years later, the recipes may still be in our rotation of favorites, but the photos?!  Yeeeesh.

So I’ve decided to start “making over” a few of my favorite old blog recipes, starting with this classic and crazy-good Spaghetti Carbonara.

Spaghetti Carbonara | gimmesomeoven.comFor any of you unfamiliar with Pasta Carbonara, my friends all fondly call it the “eggs and bacon pasta”.  You basically just stir a few whisked eggs into the pasta as soon as it is cooked and drained, and the heat of the pasta will cook the eggs until they make a creamy sauce coating the pasta.  There’s also a little onion in there, a little milk, lots of Parmesan, and LOTS of bacon.  And it is crazy good.

I actually have been making the dish since I first began cooking in college.  A group of us had been invited to a dinner where my professor’s wife served up steaming bowls of this mysteriously-named pasta, and I instantly fell in love and begged for the recipe and have been making it ever since.

Spaghetti Carbonara |

For many years, I made the pasta a little healthier with turkey bacon, which I still love to use.  But when I’m going for pure comfort food, real bacon is definitely the way to go.  Either way, this dish is absolutely full of great flavor, and can literally be on the table from start to finish in less than 30 minutes.  Perfect.

Cheers to recipe makeovers!

Spaghetti Carbonara |

Spaghetti Carbonara

One of my all-time favorite recipes - Spaghetti Carbonara! Everyone loves the classic eggs and bacon pasta, ready to go in less than 30 minutes!


  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 lb. bacon (regular or turkey bacon), diced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (or more)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil


Bring a big pot of generously-salted water to a boil on the stove. (Use about 2 Tbsp. salt - this is the secret to flavorful Italian pasta!)

While waiting for the water to boil, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the turkey bacon and cook until it is nearly crispy, stirring every few minutes. (If using real bacon, you will not need to add oil initially, and you may actually need to drain some grease before the next step.) Then add the diced onion to the skillet, and continue cooking until the bacon is crispy and the onion is translucent.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, parmesan and black pepper until well-blended. Set aside.

Once the pasta water is ready, add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until it is al dente. (Usually about 9-11 minutes.)

When the pasta is ready, carefully and quickly drain out the pasta water, and return the pasta to the hot pot immediately. Then while stirring the pasta with one hand, use the other to pour the egg mixture into the pasta and continue to toss until the egg mixture is cooked into the pasta. (You may see a few tiny clumps, but in general, the eggs will just coat the individual pieces almost like a sauce.) Then add in the bacon and onion mixture and toss until mixed.

Feel free to garnish with extra parmesan and/or chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Recipe from my friend, Joni.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Leave a Comment:


  1. Sue — November 9, 2009 @ 5:51 pm (#)

    I love your website! The recipes look GREAT! I can’t wait to try them.
    Thanks for doing this.

  2. Von — November 9, 2009 @ 10:12 pm (#)

    Yum! I must give this a try some time- it’s so simple!

  3. Allan Renn — November 30, 2009 @ 5:22 am (#)

    Hello, I’ve just come across your website whilst hunting on the Internet as I am looking for some info on wall ovens!. It is an informative blog so I’ve bookmarked your site and I will return soon to have a more indepth look when I can give it more time.

  4. vicki — December 6, 2009 @ 7:07 pm (#)

    Another variation is to use diced ham (or prosciutto).

  5. Kiley Chasteen — February 6, 2010 @ 7:06 am (#)

    A friend recommended me to read this website, brill post, interesting read… keep up the cool work!

  6. Connie — February 4, 2013 @ 5:03 pm (#)

    If you wish for to increase your experience just keep visiting
    this site and be updated with the most recent news update posted here.

  7. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — October 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am (#)

    Some of my photos are really really really bad looking and I started to recreate those recipes as well. My husband is always complaining that we usually have a recipe once and then move on but we never make it again.
    Spaghetti carbonara is one of my favorite pasta dishes.

  8. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — October 11, 2013 @ 10:45 am (#)

    I was just thinking about going back and redoing some of my early stuff! The recipes are my fave but the pics are sooooo lacking! I love this pasta dish. It is definitely a major comfort food in my house!

  9. Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — October 11, 2013 @ 10:49 am (#)

    Great pasta dish, Ali! Love it! :)

  10. Amanda — October 11, 2013 @ 12:45 pm (#)

    This looks delicious! Wish I had it in front of me right now!

  11. Cristina — October 11, 2013 @ 1:00 pm (#)

    It looks amazing! The original recipe calls for pancetta, not bacon…the flavors are very different ;)

    Or at least that’s how we make it in Rome ^__^

  12. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — October 11, 2013 @ 3:39 pm (#)

    I’ve thought about remaking some early “dishes” Looking back gives me the heebie jeebies!! Your remake of this classic is 100% successful :)

  13. Gaby — October 11, 2013 @ 8:34 pm (#)

    One of my all-time favorites! Love the lots of bacon!

  14. Tieghan — October 11, 2013 @ 9:26 pm (#)

    Simply and awesome! I love all that bacon!

  15. Katelyn — October 11, 2013 @ 10:02 pm (#)

    You have no idea how happy I am you posted this recipe! I use to have this all the time in Spain with my Spanish family but I had no clue how to make it. I can’t wait to try this for me and my husband now!

    xoxo, K
    Relatively Offbeat

  16. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen — October 12, 2013 @ 7:47 pm (#)

    These photographs are gorgeous, as well as the pasta. It’s funny I never seem to have spaghetti carbonara in the US, I always end up having it when I visit England, need to change that! This looks SOOO good!

  17. Deborah — October 12, 2013 @ 10:46 pm (#)

    Carbonara is one of my favorite things ever. Ever. And isn’t it fun to go and remake some of those early recipes? I’ve been doing that for awhile and have rediscovered some gems!

  18. Audra | The Baker Chick — October 12, 2013 @ 11:03 pm (#)

    I fell in love with Spaghetti Carbonara when I was in Rome earlier this year. It’s one of the most delicious things on the planet- and this looks perfect! Your pictures have been to die for lately Ali!!

  19. Des — October 13, 2013 @ 1:41 am (#)

    Seriously, I am forever in debt to whoever decided that it would be a good idea to put eggs and bacon in a pasta. I adore carbonara and yours looks fantastic!

  20. DessertForTwo — October 14, 2013 @ 9:49 am (#)

    So stunning, as always! I love this for a quick meal.

  21. Julie Blanner — October 14, 2013 @ 3:43 pm (#)

    I love this Ali! I have been doing the same little by little. Carbonara has always been a favorite of mine, but I’ve never used onion in it…can’t wait to try yours!

  22. Michelle — October 14, 2013 @ 7:12 pm (#)

    Hi! This looks so good! My son doesn’t really care for Parmesan cheese. Can I substitute it with mozzarella or cheddar cheese instead? Thanks!

  23. Beth Young — October 15, 2013 @ 10:21 am (#)

    Had this for lunch today! Carbonara is my absolute favourite!

  24. Pattie — October 15, 2013 @ 1:11 pm (#)

    Looks great! How many eggs would you suggest to half since it is just the two of us? Thanks!

  25. Sadye — October 15, 2013 @ 2:06 pm (#)

    If I were to halve this recipe, should I go with two eggs or three? Looking forward to trying this sooner rather than later!

  26. Angie | Big Bear's Wife — October 15, 2013 @ 2:58 pm (#)

    spaghetti carbonara is one of our favorites! Beautiful photos!

  27. KayleneP @ The Links Site — October 18, 2013 @ 3:55 am (#)

    Your carbonara looks delicious. The recipe looks so quick and easy, I will definitely be giving it a try soon!

  28. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) — October 22, 2013 @ 3:35 pm (#)

    I have the same problem– some of my older posts have horrible photography, I was much happier with the photographs on posts from a whole year later, and even looking back on those, there are some I’d like to re-do… (I didn’t think about how that probably tends to happen with our favorite recipes, since we want to share them first, though!)

    I’m curious about your strategy with this, though– do you put better photos into your older posts, and then alert your readers to the change (I’ve done that with one post…) Or do you delete the older post and just totally replace it with a better version of the same recipe? (Or leave the older one up for comparison?)

    By the way, this pasta looks lovely! (And I don’t even eat bacon… but these photographs!) : )

  29. sophie — October 27, 2013 @ 10:21 am (#)

    I made the carbonara last night. 1 lb pasta too much for other ingredients. the pasta had wonderful taste, but too dry-next time I make it will add less pasta and 1/4 th cup more ream or milk

  30. Rachel — October 31, 2013 @ 9:18 am (#)

    We had this dish for dinner last night. Mine had quite a few clumps in the sauce but it was still delicious. We called it “Bacon and scrambled eggs with pasta”. Will need to try and perfect my technique. Thanks for sharing!

  31. cathy — November 13, 2013 @ 5:28 pm (#)

    looks wonderful–think you could sub egg beaters for the eggs to cut the cholesterol

  32. Mimi Shelburne — December 7, 2013 @ 10:01 pm (#)

    My favorite too forever!! I like spicy food so I just add a little bit of hot peppers cut very small and add them to the bacon skillet when the onion is almost translucent!!!

  33. Robin Feltner — January 12, 2014 @ 5:29 pm (#)

    Love this recipe! This is what you whip up at midnight and have a picnic in bed!

  34. Missy — February 24, 2014 @ 5:58 pm (#)

    We made this tonight and OH MY! It was delicious!! I used brown rice spaghetti from Trader Joe’s and it was excellent with this. This is going into my “bag of tricks” for yummy comfort food during the LONG winter. Thanks!

  35. Laurie — July 24, 2014 @ 8:10 pm (#)

    This has always been one of my go-to recipes. My landlord in Sicily who spoke no English showed me how to make this when I was newly married. Leftovers can be frozen with good results. It works well with chopped ham as well.

  36. Irina — December 23, 2014 @ 10:42 am (#)

    That’s cool and all, but it’s not carbonara. Carbonara is made with cream and and fatty meat, such as guanciale, pancetta or your regular bacon.  I guess this is an American version or something. It kinda sucks to see how many recipes are interpreted poorly on cooking blogs. I mean, do whatever interpretations you want, but don’t call them what they are not. It’s like making ragu sauce with ketchup and then calling the pasta dish bolognese.

  37. Melissa Sein — January 7, 2015 @ 6:40 pm (#)

    I’ve made Carbonara for years with cream so i was excited  to try your version.  The whole family loves it and i love the lack of heavy cream calories! Thanks for improving an old favorite:-)

  38. Cecilia Guss — February 19, 2015 @ 9:55 pm (#)

    First had this when I was in Italy, loved it!
    Going to try your recipe tomorrow and so looking forward to trying it.  Have to let you know how it turns 

  39. Elizabeth — March 12, 2015 @ 6:35 pm (#)

    This was fantastic!! Thank you for sharing an amazing recipe :) My husband and I both loved it!!

    • Ali — March 18th, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, so glad you both enjoyed it!

  40. L Davis — April 13, 2015 @ 3:48 pm (#)

    Making this tonight! I can’t wait! 


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