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Fettuccine Carbonara

When a man at church found out how much my family likes fettuccine, he shared his Italian grandmother's carbonara recipe with us. I've made it my own over the last 25 years. Grated Parmesan cheese works just as well as Romano. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 package (16 ounces) fettuccine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Additional grated Romano cheese, optional


  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in pan.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain; return to pan.
  • Add onion to drippings in skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in cream. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of warm cream into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Cook 8-10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°, stirring constantly.
  • Stir cheese, salt, pepper and bacon into sauce. Add to fettuccine and toss to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and, if desired, additional cheese. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup (calculated without additional cheese): 495 calories, 19g fat (9g saturated fat), 162mg cholesterol, 684mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 25g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • lolohiser
    Jun 24, 2020

    Jimmy saw this (close enough) on a TV show. If he likes it....make it again.

  • Sarah
    Jun 19, 2020

    I cooked this recipe with whole-grain fettuccine, and I did cook some chicken to toss along with it. My husband loved it! It was interesting to make a sauce with egg in it, So it’s a different consistency then most white sauces, but it was tasty and full of protein! Instead of cooking bacon I just used bacon bits that I put into the recipe. It worked great! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will make it again!

  • Ryan
    May 12, 2020

    Absolutely divine. This may not be a perfectly authentic Italian recipe taught in Rome, but it is BY FAR the best, tastiest richest version of Fettuccine Carbonara I've ever been able to make for myself. My favorite meal has long been Fettuccine Carbonara, and I have tries dozens of recipes online attempting to duplicate the recipe that an old local restaurant (Frankie's Italian, in Marietta GA) used. Having left Georgia, I've been unable to. Find anything that compared.... Until I made this. I loved this recipe so much I committed it to memory. If you're one of the people reviewing this based on judgment without even trying it... Remove your pitiful whiney negative review and put your thoughts in the comments section. Don't post reviews for things you've never even tried cooking. Again... This is a divinely rich, clearly explained recipe, fully deserving a 5 star review. (be sure to follow the directions about how to use the eggs!)

  • shannondobos
    Nov 5, 2019

    I'm surprised by all the mixed reviews here. I prepared this as written for dinner last night and it was EXCELLENT! As long as you ensure you add the eggs as stated in the directions, it should come together easily. I will definitely make again.

  • LPHJKitchen
    Mar 23, 2019

    We really loved this recipe! It was easy enough yet very flavorful! I could see where you need to take care to not overcook the eggs while mixing in but it was still a pretty quick dish. Had flavors of a traditional carbonara without all the hard-to-find ingredients!

  • Jerelin
    Jul 13, 2018

    Additionally, bacon is not used; panchetta is used.

  • Bob
    Jun 28, 2018

    Authenic Fettucine Carbonara does not use any cream or milk. I took a cooking class in Rome and that is where I learned to prepare this dish the correct way.

  • Jksread
    Jun 5, 2018

    Janice? Start your own website if you’re such a good cook.

  • carvingknife
    Mar 22, 2018

    Jeez Janice. Why didn't you submit the recipe if you going change it that much?

  • Janice
    Nov 25, 2017

    The way I do it is as follows.. boil the pasta the whole box 1 pound ..No this is not a diet recipe and no it is not cooking for 1 or 2 .. and I reserve 3 cups of the pasta water , in to a measuring cup as I am draining the water off of the pasta. .. I ALWAYS salt the water. with Pink Himalayan salt set aside. i chop up my whole pound of bacon... fry it CRISP.. then drain saving about 2 tbsp of the drippings. while the bacon is cooking I grate a wedge of Parmesan cheese. THIS IS NO PLACE for Romano in my opinion . its ALWAYS Parmesan. FRESH and NOT from the green shaker.. then I also add 1 cup of grated swiss. Per family request . No Not typical to the recipe but its what I am ask to do.. I use 6 eggs crack them in to a bowl and stir them then I start with 1- 16 ounce container of heavy cream NOT 1/2 and 1/2 not milk of any percentage CREAM.(with this said I do not always use the 16 ounce container richer sauce the whole thing little less richness GO 1/2 of it ) .. so in to the bowl add the cheeses and then the cream stir well . We like pepper so I add 2 Tbsp. NO salt though Until you taste it .. there is salt in so many of the components.. hold off .Yes it is going to look like a mess but stay with me here . Now when your ready to assemble.. have a 6 quart dutch oven , a sturdy spoon and do as follows oh and FYI your pasta water has had ample time to cool off a lot by now as well. SO, add the pasta to the COLD pot and the fat /drippings you saved stir. ok its mixed , then add the eggs, cream, pepper and cheese mixture and stir... turn the range / burner / what ever you call it to medium heat. keep stirring.. Keep the pasta moving ... not like a wild person but keep it moving , you will begin to notice the pasta is getting increasingly thicker add 1 cup of the pasta water and stir some more... still to dry for your taste? add MORE pasta water... Typically I use nearly all of the 3 cups. you will see it taking shape and smelling amazing... the fluidity of the "Sauce" you are all referring to is determined by how much moisture it still has left when all of your ingredients are added. if it is a large dry mass of pasta , bacon , eggs and cheese. it will only get worse as it cools. the pasta water allows the pasta to loosen back up and not suck up everything in its path.. giving you much more flavorful dish I usually add about a pound of mushrooms and peas as well.. but that varies with each preparation and what the family wants. this sounds over whelming but it is not it super simple and after you have prepared it several times a Recipe will not be needed.. I have also left out the bacon until i have scooped a helping for my D.I.L. as she is not a bacon eater.. other meats yes.. so From time to time there is chicken or shrimp added then I use olive oil in place of the bacon drippings and a touch of butter.. Also there is NO hard and fast rule on the type of pasta,it can be spaghetti , angel hair or what ever long stringy type you like best.. there a million kinds.. just enjoy. :)