An original Carbonara only consisted of eggs, parmesan and black pepper, cooked in the still hot pasta (mostly Linguine or Spaghetti), with some fried bacon thrown in for good measurement. It is, the story goes, the traditional way for North Italian coal miners to prepare their meals. Especially as they only had very few things to choose from up the hills anyway. At first rather obscure as a dish, it became more popular when after WWII Italians were supplied with loads of eggs and bacon by the American troops, and had to do something with those things.

This recipe works without the cream most people associate with Carbonara.

Pasta Carbonara

Serves 4, estimated time for preparation: 20 min.


250g Pasta (Linguine, Spaghetti, etc.)

2 eggs

80-100g freshly grated parmesan (or any other hard cheese, e.g. cheddar.)

50g bacon

Black Pepper, freshly grated

Salt to taste


1. Cook Pasta in salted water until it is al dente.

2. Meanwhile cut bacon into small pieces or stripes and fry in small amount of butter or olive oil

3. Meanwhile break eggs into cup, add cheese and a good measure of pepper; mix thoroughly.

4. When the bacon is crisp, take away from fire

5. When the pasta is done, take from fire, drain water into the sink, put hot noodles on plates and put the egg-cheese mixture over it; mix thoroughly.

6. Put bacon on top of noodles, serve immediately and enjoy

Variant: A tablespoon of cream or crème fraîche adds quite a lot to the taste, just don’t overdo it.