The very best spaghetti carbonara (unanimously voted by my children!)

My children are very good eaters and they all have quite an extensive list of their favourite foods. But spaghetti carbonara is definitely in the top 3 for all five of them. (I say five, because I’m pretty sure it’s on Bram’s list as well, even though he hasn’t even started solids yet.) I don’t make spaghetti carbonara very often, as I don’t consider it the healthiest of all dishes, but when I’m in a rush and I want something yummy on the table in less than 15 minutes, carbonara it is.

the very best spaghetti carbonara

Now, I don’t happen to make a ‘normal’ spaghetti carbonara — I actually happen to make ‘the very best spaghetti carbonara’. My kids assure me every single time! It’s better than in Italy, they say. So cute. It makes me feel like a very good mama : ). Here’s the recipe:

The very best spaghetti carbonara:

For 4 hungry eaters

  • 500 g Lingiune no. 7 (I like using De Cecco pasta)
  • 250 g smoked bacon (pancetta) bits (lardons)
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
  • 150 g freshly grated old Gouda cheese, or parmesan
  • 4 egg yolks (5 if small eggs)
  • a splash of milk
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper

the very best spaghetti carbonara

Bring an oversized pot of salted water to the boil (cover with a lid to make it boil faster).

Put the bacon in a frying pan and heat over medium heat, allowing the fat of the bacon to melt so that the lardons can cook in their own fat. Once the bacon starts to cook, you can turn up the heat. When the bacon is crispy, add the onions and cook for a minute or two until they are soft. Turn off the heat.

As soon as the water is boiling, add the linguine and cook (uncovered!) until all dente. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks with the milk and the freshly ground black pepper.

Now, as soon as the linguine is cooked, toss it in a colander and then immediately back in the pot it was cooked in. Don’t let it drain much — I like to still have some of the cooking liquid there. Now quickly, add the bacon and onion with the fat it cooked in. Stir. Add the egg/milk mixture. Stir again. Lastly, add the cheese. Give it another good stir until the cheese is melting.

Serve! And enjoy :).

xxx Esther

PS another easy meal for weekdays!


Comments (12)

Lizzy in Minnesota
September 20, 2018

Yum! Carbonara is one of my go-to meals as well! It took me a few goes to figure out the perfect ratio of egg to pasta (1 egg to 100 g of pasta) – which is ironically the ratio when you make homemade pasta (1 egg to 100 g flour)! But I’ve since become the Carbonara pro and when we stay with my Italian in-laws in Verona, I’m tasked with cooking the Carbonara 🙂 Although, we’ve actually found that using US – style bacon (instead of pancetta) produces more oil and gives you a creamier sauce. Our other fast pasta recipes are orecchiete with broccoli rabe, pasta all’amatriciana, spaghetti all’aglio, olio e pepperoncino, pasta con panna e piselli. They all take me under 15 minutes to cook (and that includes the time it takes for the water to boil!)

Esther in Amsterdam
September 21, 2018

All of these pats sound so delicious!!!! x

September 20, 2018

Great recipe! What would a splash of milk be? 50 ml? 100 ml?

Esther in Amsterdam
September 21, 2018

Yes about 50 ml! (You can add a bit more later if you feel it needs it)

September 20, 2018

I am afraid this is not a true carbonara….

Esther in Amsterdam
September 21, 2018

Haha, I’m sure. But I don’t think it really matters. 🙂

September 22, 2018

I like the milk addon and I also add a dash of nutmeg:)

September 22, 2018

YUM!!! I’m definitely trying this recipe. I’ve had some good carbonara attempts & some not so good (pasta with scrambled egg situation 😬) maybe just using egg yolks is the trick!! I know it’s not at all ‘legit carbonara’ but I always throw in a handful of frozen peas which (when it doesn’t scramble!) is yummy!

September 22, 2018

YUM!! I am going to try this next week. I never kew it was so easy!!

October 7, 2018

Far from true, but always a winner if that many children agree! If you’d like the authentic (Roman) recipe from a Roman chef (my spouse), I can get you the inside scoop lol.

November 21, 2018

Made this for my husband and I tonight, having the recipe. PERFECT! Thanks Esther!

Esther in Amsterdam
November 21, 2018

You are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!! ❤️ xx

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