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Authentic Italian Pasta Carbonara (no cream)

Authentic Italian Carbonara (without cream) is an easy 20 minute restaurant worthy meal you can make on a weeknight! This recipe is perfectly smooth and creamy without using cream. In Italy, a traditional carbonara means no cream. Learn to make it the authentic way.

  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (16 oz) of pancetta, guanciale, or bacon, sliced into pieces about 1/4 inch thick by 1/3 inch square
  • 1 lb (454 grams) of pasta of choice

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot of salted water (no more than 2 tablespoon salt per 500 gr pasta) over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs until very well combined and smooth. Add the cheese and mix to incorporate.  You should have a thick mass once combined.
  3. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a pan, on the edge of crispness but not too hard. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Save a couple tablespoons of bacon drippings in pan. Take pan off heat and wait to reuse.  
  4. Add pasta to the water and boil until al dente according to your taste and package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water (in case you need it), then drain pasta.
  5. Add pasta to pan with bacon drippings. Then, a little at a time, add the egg mixture, adding some reserved pasta water if needed for added creaminess. After a creamy texture is achieved add the bacon and incorporate into the pasta and sauce. Save a little bacon for garnish. 
  6. Serve immediately, dressing it with a bit of additional grated cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Notes

STORING: Carbonara is best served immediately, while it is hot and creamy. If you have leftovers, store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Once reheated it will not taste the same since the eggs will cook more in the reheating process. My preferred way to enjoy authentic carbonara is to make and eat the carbonara as soon as it is made!

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta, carbonara, pasta carbonara, eggs, bacon, pancetta, parmigiano, easy dinner, easy meal, no cream, authentic Italian