Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Recipe

A classic Italian favorite. This dish has been Americanized by utilizing bacon (smoked cured pork belly) instead of pancetta (unsmoked pork belly) or guanciale (pork jowl), as would be used traditionally in Italy. This dish is a favorite in both America and Italy. And like all true Italian dishes, its brilliance is only matched by its simplicity. The single most difficult part of this dish is ensuring that the heat from the noodles cooks the egg sauce, not the heat from the pan. If done correctly, the egg sauce will bake into the noodles, trapping the pepper and the cheese against the noodle and leaving a dry, baked-on sauce. Tasting Guidelines: Taste is peppery, cheesy, and savory. Weight is heavy but can be balanced with Italian flat leaf parsley. Texture is dry and noodley. Good for people with low treatment side effects. Best categorized as authentic Italian.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: carbonara, pasta, recipes, spaghetti, spaghetti alla carbonara
Servings: 6 people
Author: Chef Ryan Callahan
Cost: $10


  • Spaghetti pot
  • Colander
  • Large saute pan (high sided)
  • cooking utensils
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife


Food Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. bacon fatty and chopped into 1/4” strips
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz. parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 lb. spaghetti thick or linguine noodle

Flavor Balancers:

  • 2 tbsp. black pepper


  • Italian flat leaf parsley


  • Bring a large spaghetti pot with well-salted water to a boil. In a large sauté pan, begin to cook bacon over medium heat. When water reaches a boil, add pasta and cook. In a bowl on the side, whisk together parmesan, black pepper, and eggs. When pasta finishes cooking, strain and leave in colander.
  • Bring bacon pan heat to high; make certain bacon is extra crispy. Toss pasta into bacon pan taking care not to burn the pasta but to toss the bacon grease and bacon thoroughly through the pasta until even. Once pasta is evenly coated, vigorously whisk egg mixture. Turn off heat from pan. Pour egg mixture on top of pasta and stir vigorously.
  • The key is to not allow the eggs to cook from the heat of the pan but from the heat of the pasta itself. If your pan is too hot and your pasta is too cold, you will end up with parmesan scrambled eggs and pasta. If you do it correctly, you will end up with pasta that is perfectly coated with parmesan and black pepper as if it was baked into the pasta from the beginning. When finished, top with Italian flat leaf parsley to help with the weight of the dish.


This pasta dish can be a little heavy so serve in small portions.

Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimen. Talk with your dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

This recipe is taken from Cooking for Chemo …and After! By Chef Ryan Callahan -The Cancer Chef. For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy on Amazon . Have specific questions? Email us at

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a 2x Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Chef. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments. He has dedicated his life to helping cancer fighters navigate the difficulty that eating related side-effect present to the cancer fighter.