Fettuccine carbonara is a delightful Italian dish that you'll quickly order once you see it on your local Italian restaurant menu. Still, for some reason, it's a dish that lots of people avoid when they are home cooking!
Perhaps it's the challenging task of separating the egg yolks from the whites. Maybe you're intimidated by getting the correct consistency of cream and the right ratio of pasta. Whatever the reason, you can squash your carbonara cravings in as little as ten minutes with our creamy bacon pasta recipe. Carbonara no longer needs to be a challenge, and you'll even have plenty of time to handmake authentic fettuccine with a pasta roller if you want!
Classic Fettuccine Carbonara Recipe
8 oz of fettuccine pasta
2 finely diced onions
1 clove of minced garlic
6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice your onions, mince your garlic and chop your bacon. Set aside.
Place a skillet or saucepan onto the stovetop and heat a drizzle of oil on medium heat.
Cook the chopped bacon lightly, before adding your onion and garlic. Allow everything to fry until it's soft to the touch.
When you cook everything down, turn the heat off entirely before pouring in your heavy cream and grated cheese. Mix.
Separate your egg yolks from the whites. Mix the egg yolks into the pan (you don't need the egg whites, so save them for another recipe).
In a separate saucepan or pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Cook your fettuccine pasta until it's al dente.
When your pasta is suitably al dente, use tongs or a fork to lift the fettuccine out of the water and directly into the creamy bacon you have on the side.
Mix the fettuccine into the creamy sauce and allow everything to soak together before serving.
You can garnish your completed carbonara pasta and bacon recipes with olive oil and freshly grated parmesan, alongside a sprinkle of salt and pepper!
Fettuccine pasta recipe FAQ
Fettuccine carbonara doesn't need to be complicated. It's super-easy to prepare with a little practice and can be ready in 10 minutes straight if you've already got your pasta ready to go!
Just in case you had a few questions about our recipe, though, here's a quick FAQ answering the most common queries we receive when it comes to cooking fettuccine carbonara.
How long should I cook the fettuccine pasta for?
For the best carbonara, you need your fettuccine pasta to be al dente. That means that it needs to be undercooked, not soft. Too soft, and it can be quite mushy, and you'll miss out on that carbonara texture you get in restaurants.
The timing depends on what sort of pasta you're cooking up. If you're using storebought pasta from a packet, you need to follow the cooking instructions on the back, but minus off a few minutes from the suggested cooking time. For instance, if it says 10 minutes, you only want to cook the pasta for 7 or 8 minutes.
If you're using fresh, hand-rolled pasta that you've just lovingly prepared at home, then you need to be careful. Fresh pasta cooks incredibly quickly, so you'll only want to drop the pasta into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Then lift it straight back out again. Any longer, and it's going to be much too soft for a carbonara!
Homemade or store-bought fettuccine pasta?
We always love making our own homemade pasta for the carbonara. It's just so much more authentic. Hand rolling pasta gets much quicker and easier with a pasta maker too, and after a few attempts at it, you'll be able to prepare fettuccine like a pro!
You can even prepare your fettuccine pasta in advance, before drying it out or freezing it. That way, when you're craving fettuccine carbonara again, you have a stash of pasta already stored away ready to cook.
Of course, if you don't have a pasta maker, it takes much more time and effort to get thin fettuccine (it's challenging to roll out, although not impossible, using a rolling pin alone). In this case, you'll probably be using storebought fettuccine instead.
What can I do with fettuccine carbonara leftovers?
A good fettuccine carbonara will keep for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator, but it's not going to be as fresh when you heat it later in the week. If you're doing this with the leftovers, then transfer them to a resealable box or a ziplock to hold in the flavor for longer!
You should reheat the leftovers gently on the stovetop, although if you're in a hurry, then a minute or two in the microwave will do the job.
You could also freeze the leftovers, although be warned, the creamy texture of the dish tends to disintegrate and lose its consistency when it's defrosted later on. Eggs and cheese don't freeze particularly well either, so we only recommend this as a last resort. It's always best to enjoy carbonara when it is fresh, after all!
Can I make a vegetarian fettuccine carbonara?
A carbonara sauce isn't technically a carbonara without bacon, but we'll let it slide if you're vegetarian!
Instead of bacon, you could try a plant-based alternative to keep the carbonara's slightly smoky flavor. There are plenty of vegetarian kinds of bacon for sale in shops, usually produced from a pea protein or soy, then spiced up.
You can also add in more vegetables to the dish, instead of a bacon-substitute. Carbonara works particularly well with mushrooms, for instance. Just sautee them at the same time as you soften up the onions and garlic.
What should I serve with fettuccine carbonara?
Fettuccine carbonara is a perfect dish all on its own. With just a garnish of fresh herbs, a dash of olive oil, and grated parmesan cheese to finish, you'll feel like you sitting at a cafe in Italy!
However, if you want to add a side dish, then a fresh, leafy green salad garnished with olive oil compliments fettuccine carbonara particularly well. To add more of a Mediterranean vibe to your dinner, arrange a side plate with sundried tomatoes or olives
And no fettuccine carbonara is ever complete without being paired with a delectable Italian white wine, so don't forget to open your favorite bottle before you start dining!
Liked this recipe? Check out our recipes for shrimp fettuccine and fettuccine bolognese!
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