Delicious Carbonara Sauce made with egg yolks, Parmesan and cream. Easier to make than Italian Carbonara and just as silky, rich and addicting! Ready in just 15 minutes and delicious with all types of pasta.
Pssst! Why not make a Meringue Cake to use up the egg whites?
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Spaghetti Carbonara has got to be one of my top five favourite pasta dishes. So rich, so silky and so unbelievably yummy!
Carbonara is a creamy sauce made with eggs and cheese, typically served with pasta. Some believe it was created by coal miners in the early 20th century, while others think it dates back to Roman times. Either way it is a classic for a reason – easy, quick and delicious!
There’s a slimming-friendly Carbonara recipe on this site already which follows the authentic Italian way of making Carbonara, simply swapping the pancetta for lean bacon.
This Carbonara recipe is just a little bit different – it is EASIER to make as it contains cream. Now before you get up in arms I know that cream is not supposed to be added to carbonara sauce.
But with that one little change you can remove the fear of scrambling your eggs when making the sauce. I think we can all agree that’s a bonus – no one wants a granular sauce or egg-fried spaghetti!
CREAMY CARBONARA INGREDIENTS
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this creamy carbonara sauce.
- Pasta – usually spaghetti but any type of pasta will work.
- Some of the pasta cooking water
- Salt and pepper
- Pancetta – smoked or unsmoked cubed pancetta
- A little butter (optional)
- Garlic Cloves
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Egg yolks
- Cream – I used heavy cream (double cream)
- Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
HOW TO MAKE CARBONARA SAUCE
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to pack instructions. Reserve some of the hot pasta water before you drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, dry fry the pancetta and garlic cloves in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy but not crunchy. Discard the garlic cloves but keep any fat released by the pancetta.
Add the egg yolks, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper and cream in a bowl. Stir vigorously to combine.
Gradually add the hot reserved pasta water while stirring at the same time. The water will partially cook your egg yolks and thicken the sauce.
Add the hot pancetta and any cooking liquid in the empty pasta pot. Stir in the pasta and toss well to combine.
Add the Carbonara sauce and use tongs to toss the pasta until it is coated in the silky sauce.
Serve immediately, garnished with a little chopped parsley and a little extra cheese.
This delicious Carbonara sauce can be tweaked to add chicken, salmon or shrimp. It is best served as soon as you make it but it can be reheated on the stove with a splash of cream or milk.
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Creamy Carbonara Sauce
For the pasta
- 11 oz (320g) dried pasta
- 2 tsp salt for the pasta water
For the carbonara sauce
- 7 oz (200g) pancetta or streaky bacon cut into chunky cubes
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 egg yolks from fresh large eggs
- 7 oz (200g) grated Parmesan or Pecorino
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper or to taste
- 1 cup (240ml) cream heavy / double cream
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add salt. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions -until al dente.
- While the pasta is boiling, dry fry the pancetta and garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat until nicely coloured, crispy but not crunchy. Discard the garlic cloves but hold on to any fat released while cooking.
- Put the egg yolks, grated cheese, salt, pepper, and cream in a large bowl and whisk together to combine using a balloon whisk.
- Drain the pasta, reserving half a cup (120ml) of the hot starchy pasta water. Gradually add the pasta water into the bowl with the sauce mixture, stirring all the while.
- Add the pancetta and cooking liquid into the empty pasta pot. Stir in the pasta, tossing to combine.
- Working quickly, add the Carbonara sauce, tossing the pasta using tongs to coat it in the silky sauce. Have a taste – you should not need to add any salt and pepper but adjust if you like.
- Serve garnished with the parsley and a little freshly grated Parmesan.
- Chicken Carbonara: cook some skinless diced chicken breasts with the bacon and add to the pasta. Alternatively you can use leftover roast chicken meat or shredded rotisserie chicken, pan fry or microwave to heat through before adding to the pasta.
- Salmon Carbonara: add diced smoked salmon or cooked and flaked salmon fillet to your pasta.
- Vegetarian Carbonara: Pan fry 200g (7oz) sliced mushrooms with 1 minced garlic clove using low calorie cooking spray until nicely coloured. Replace the parmesan with a vegetarian hard cheese.