Bucatini Carbonara

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Only 15 minutes to create this Italian restaurant-quality pasta at home! This simple carbonara features a silky, scrumptious sauce with pancetta, heavy cream and Parmesan. Twirl a fork into this easy, elegant dish tonight!


On a rare kid-free night, I am more than happy to kick on my heels and hit the city. You can only eat cheese in slippers and flip through Netflix so many times, before you need a little excitement. Besides, what’s better than spontaneous wandering at sunset, big bowls of pasta, sharing a bottle of wine, and Italian market shopping?

To two food lovers with a passion for proscuitto and late night hijinks, not much.

After sampling a whirlwind of meats, cheeses, chocolates and breads at the food market, it was time to sit for dinner. We ascended the stairs to an oasis of deliciously warm Italian aromas, surrounded by hanging plants, dripping candles, and a soaring view of the city skyscrapers. An incredibly romantic scene as the sun sizzled down. The kitchen was bustling beside our table, so close you could feel the warmth of the fire and smell the tomatoes and truffles.


The whole atmosphere was so intoxicating, I could barely look away and decide what to have for dinner!

Until, the bucatini carbonara called my name.

The simplicity of this dish is surprising, for how rich and luscious it tastes! You just need a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes (yes, really) to create this incredible pasta bowl. My favorite Italian dishes have always had few ingredients, less fuss and maximum flavor. So, I am happy to say, I was able to exactly recreate for you the same exquisite carbonara I enjoyed on date night. Thick slippery pasta noodles coated in a creamy Parmesan sauce, with savory pancetta, and a glass of wine on the side.

And, hey… this one can be enjoyed in your slippers.

Ready to make your own Bucatini Carbonara?

• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add bucatini and cook al dente, about 9-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.

• Meanwhile, in a large skillet set to medium-low heat, add oil. Add diced pancetta and cook ’til crisp, 5-7 minutes. Add shallot and garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Add heavy cream. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

• Add hot pasta to the skillet and stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

• Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water, grated cheese, and egg yolks.

• Divide pasta into bowls and sprinkle with parsley, pepper, and additional cheese. Serve warm.

Keep reading for full ingredient list + recipe, below

Looking for more fork twirling pasta bowls? Try these recipes!

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There are a couple things I’ve gotta tell you about this recipe. First, if you’re intimidated by adding raw egg to the pasta, just know this is the secret to a perfect carbonara! The egg yolk swirls into the hot pasta, which cooks it in the process and you end up with a silky, luxurious sauce. It will not curdle and turn into scrambled egg… unless you cook it over direct heat.

Second, you can make many substitutions in this recipe. Don’t have bucatini? Use linguine, fettuccine, angel hair, spaghetti. A thin, long pasta works best for this dish. Can’t find pancetta? Sub with thick sliced bacon and cook until crisp. The cooking time may be slightly reduced if using bacon. Prefer different cheeses or herbs? Instead of Parmesan, you can use Pecorino, Asiago or Grana Padano. Swap fresh parsley with basil, tarragon or chives.

Enjoy this recipe, friends. Please leave a rating and tell me how you liked it, if you try it!

5 from 1 vote

Bucatini Carbonara

Servings 3 servings
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bucatini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 shallot very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove very finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 large egg yolks room temperature

For serving:

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add bucatini and cook al dente, about 9-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet set to medium-low heat, add oil. Add diced pancetta and cook 'til crisp, 5-7 minutes. Add shallot and garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Add heavy cream. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add hot pasta to the skillet and stir to coat. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water, grated cheese, and egg yolks.
  • Divide pasta into bowls and sprinkle with parsley, pepper, and additional cheese. Serve warm.
  • Enjoy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian

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Join the Conversation

  1. Great recipe! My hubs & I always enjoy a good Pasta Carbonara. He loves Buccatini, but quite honestly – I don’t get the excitement. Linguini or Fettuccine are ok w/me, & Bucatini can sometimes be difficult to find. If someone is hesitant to consume raw eggs, you can usually find Pasturized Eggs, which are safe to eat raw, in a higher-end grocery store. You can also easily find how to Pasturize eggs at home by searching the web.

  2. I am not only concerned about the raw yolks but how do they affect the consistency of the sauce on the pasta?
    And how does it affect the taste?

  3. Thank you for your comment, Angelina! This is a great tip.

  4. The egg yolks create a savory, creamy sauce as they swirl into the hot pasta. The taste is rich, delicately salty, and velvety smooth. The egg is cooked and completely safe to consume this way.

  5. 5 stars
    Tried this a couple of days ago and thought it was terrific. Thanks.

  6. So happy to hear you enjoyed this carbonara, Dan!

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