Spaghetti Carbonara is all about bacon, spinach and mushroom pasta with Parmesan. In other words, it is super rich spaghetti dish. Great to serve for company or for busy weeknights. It’s filling, delicious and easy to make in under 30 minutes!
Pasta Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with eggs and spaghetti. The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two. Spaghetti is the most common pasta used, but fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also good choices.
How to make Spaghetti Carbonara
- Very easy! First things first, you will need a large skillet.
- You will then cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Next, cook your onion, mushrooms, garlic, and zucchini.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Then drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- In a large bowl or a deep plate, whisk the eggs and heavy cream and ½ cup Parmesan. TURN OFF HEAT! Add to the skillet and toss until creamy, about 1 minute. Make sure to turn down heat to low to PREVENT SCRAMBLING the eggs.
- Add spinach now and allow it to wilt. At this point you can also add more reserved cooking water if necessary to thin the sauce. Season your spaghetti carbonara with salt and pepper.
Does Carbonara use whole eggs or yolks?
Whole egg sauce. One of the most important things about making carbonara pasta is the egg sauce. I worried about scrambling the eggs or eating raw eggs. Well, the whole eggs will definitely cook fast – so do not fear raw eggs.
As far as scrambling the eggs? Not to worry either! Because you will be adding them after veggies are cooked and warm, you will have plenty of time to slowly cook off the eggs without scrambling them!
It’s time to add Parmesan cheese to the sauce.
Once spaghetti is cooked, add to the skillet and combine with the sauce. Add reserved pasta water, starting with ½ cup to thin out the sauce.
Variations to Pasta Carbonara recipe
- Peas. If you love peas, they will complement this easy pasta dish beautifully!
- Pancetta. I love pancetta and use it frequently instead of bacon.
- Sausage or chicken. Add sausage or chicken if you would like to have more protein with your spaghetti.
- White wine. If you have it on hand or like wine flavor, you can use Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Add only ½ cup.
- Half and half. It can be used if you are avoiding too much saturated fat in heavy cream to create a creamy cheese sauce.
Bacon Spinach Pasta with Parmesan – Pasta Carbonara
- 5 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, cut into half moons
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, (divided)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until bright in color. Remove bacon from skillet, reserving the bacon grease.
- Add garlic, red onion, zucchini, and mushrooms to the pan. Cook until soft, about 10 more minutes on medium heat. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Now add bacon back, mix, and turn the heat down to low.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, and ⅔ cup of Parmesan. Pour into the pan and combine with the vegetables. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix.
- Add spinach and allow it to wilt.
- Meanwhile cook spaghetti according to package directions in salty water. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Turn off heat and add cooked spaghetti into the skillet. Coat in the sauce and add pasta water to thin the sauce. Start with ½ cup. Serve in shallow bowls with remaining ⅓ cup of grated parmesan cheese.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.