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Easy pasta carbonara – perfect weeknight dish

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Pasta carbonara

Pasta carbonara is one of my favorite dishes to cook on weeknights, because it’s very easy to prepare and usually takes me only 25 minutes. I also like to make pasta carbonara when I am short on ingredients, since it requires such basic ones: bacon (or prosciutto for less fat), eggs, stock, pasta, and Parmesan cheese.

The other night I was looking for an easy pasta carbonara recipe that was a bit different from my usual way of preparing it, and I found an interesting recipe on Pioneer Woman that uses 3 additional ingredients: lots of garlic, onion, and quite a lot of fresh parsley. I happened to have several bunches (!) of fresh parsley (due to my recent obsession with the Chimichurri sauce), so I was especially excited to use up the parsley instead of throwing it away.

Pasta carbonara

This recipe takes a little bit more time to prepare than the 25 minutes I usually spend on pasta carbonara – but still under an hour – due to all the chopping and incorporating of additional ingredients. I also halved the recipe because I do not like to reheat the egg-based pasta sauces the next day – the texture can really suffer. So I just cooked what I needed – half a pound of pasta, which makes perfect 4 servings.

What I really liked about this recipe is that it doesn’t use heavy cream, and with the minor changes I incorporated (reducing the amount of butter and reducing the amount of grease from bacon), the dish comes out not even being that heavy on the fat. However, keep in mind that this recipe is somewhat heavy on fresh parsley, so, if you don’t like a lot of parsley in a single dish – you might want to limit it to a couple of tablespoons instead of using a bunch as Pioneer Woman recommends. I thought using a lot of parsley added a really nice fresh touch to this version of pasta carbonara.

Pasta carbonara

Total time: 1 hour

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.


  • 1/2 pound bacon or pancetta
  • 1 whole small onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 pound linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Makes 4 servings

1) Slice bacon into thin slices and cook on stove top until cooked. Drain bacon from grease on paper towels and set aside. Reserve some grease for cooking onions in step 2.

2) Chop onion finely and cook diced onion in a reasonable amount of bacon grease (1 or 2 tablespoons) for 2-3 minutes over medium-high constant stirring to avoid burning.

3) Slice the garlic and add it to the onions, after the onions have cooked for a couple of minutes. Cook garlic and onion together for 2 more minutes and remove them from the pan, using slotted spoon. Discard the grease.

4) Place the same pan (where you cooked onion and garlic in bacon grease) back on high heat, pour in the white wine (or stock) to deglaze the pan. Stir, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock. Return bacon, onion and garlic back to the pan. Let simmer covered over low heat, do not let too much liquid (chicken stock) to evaporate.

5) Chop the parsley. Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley to the eggs. Leave a little Parmesan and parsley out for a garnish. Mix well with a fork.

6) Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to pasta instructions, al dente. Drain the pasta and add very hot pasta to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Then add bacon, onion, and garlic mixture to the pasta, mix again. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to mix. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Pasta carbonara

Pasta carbonara

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