Carbonara Craziness.

Today’s recipe is actually one I made a while ago, but I hadn’t posted it yet because … well, quite honestly … I screwed it up. Embarrassed smile

The flavors were great, but the dish didn’t come together like I wanted.

However, I’ve been doing some research, and I think I know where I messed up.

First of all, what is a “carbonara?”

According to Wise Geek: “Carbonara is an Italian sauce for pasta which appears to have emerged at some point after the Second World War. There are two distinct versions of carbonara, one made in Italy and one made in the United States. Both integrate similar ingredients, although the American version is much richer than the Italian version. The core ingredients for carbonara are pancetta, a mixture of cheeses, eggs, and freshly cracked black pepper. Americans add cream to their carbonara, and sometimes use other cured meats, such as bacon.”

The trick is in creating a rich, creamy sauce with the eggs … versus scrambling the eggs.  Guess which one Kristen accidently did? Eye rolling smile

So now I’m going to share an updated version of the recipe, which includes strategies to make your carbonara more successful than mine! Thumbs up

Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves about 6 people


  • 1 box (13.25 oz) whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 + tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 slices bacon, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 4 eggs (AT ROOM TEMPERATURE … one thing I didn’t do.)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste (don’t add too much salt because the bacon is salty)
  • dried or fresh parsley (optional)


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the box’s instructions, so that it’s “al dente.” Drain the pasta (BUT RESERVE A CUP OF PASTA WATER), and then toss the pasta with 1 tbps olive oil. Set to the side.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until slightly crisp. Remove the bacon and let it drain on paper towels.
  3. Keep what looks to be about 2 tbsp of bacon fat in the skillet and drain the rest. Add another tablespoon olive oil into the skillet, then add the chopped onion. Cook the onion over medium heat for a few minutes, until it looks translucent. Then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Now turn the heat to the lowest setting possible.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.  Add a little of the hot pasta water (maybe a couple tablespoons) and stir, to temper the eggs.  Add the Parmesan cheese to the eggs and mix together.
  5. Return cooked bacon to the skillet, followed by the pasta. Toss to coat.
  6. Then add the beaten eggs and cheese, stirring quickly with tongs, so that the egg mixture coats the pasta without the eggs scrambling!  If the mixture is sticking together, add a little of the pasta water to loosen it.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with parsley sprinkled on top.

One other note: This recipe makes a lot of pasta. It was a bit challenging to mix so much pasta so quickly. If you’re able to just make the dish for two people, you might want to cut the recipe in half. It might make things a little easier.



So mine turned out like this:


See those little specks of yellow?  Those would be the scrambled eggs.  It still tasted good, but it was like eating an Italian version of Chinese fried-rice. Smile with tongue out

But hopefully yours will look more like this:


And in case you’re wondering where I got my research to make the carbonara better, I used this website and this website.

So there you go.  My attempt at spaghetti carbonara.  Here’s hoping that your attempt produces better results than mine. Winking smile


Question for ya …

Ever made a carbonara?  Any tips to add?

Any dishes that you’ve messed up lately?

(Come on … make me feel better!)

What are you up to this weekend?

Brandon and I have more house-hunting to do.  Wish us luck! Smile



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Posted on by notsodomesticated Posted in Food, Recipes

20 Responses to Carbonara Craziness.

  1. Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health

    Yum that looks so tasty! Seriously, I want you to make food for me haha. I’ve never made carbonara, but whenever I’ve eaten it I’ve loved it!
    Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..FLOW #5My Profile

  2. Theresa

    hahaha hey, the dish still looks good!
    i’ve never tried to make carbonara before but kevin is a sucker for anything with bacon so i’m sure he wouldnt mind.

    i messed up my quinoa a bit the first time i made it! cooking is always a trial and error process for me ;)
    Theresa recently posted..Emotional Eating and Breakfast for DinnerMy Profile

  3. amy @ fearless homemaker

    carbonara can be tricky, but it looks like you figured out what problems you had + it’ll be perfect next time. have a fab weekend!
    amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..sugar cookie barsMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Thanks, Amy! I appreciate a seasoned cook like yourself giving me some encouraging words!! :)

  4. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries

    i’ve never made carbonara before! it sure does sound delicious. :)

    my mom is in town visiting this weekend, so we’re having a fun filled girls’ weekend! :)
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..National Eating Disorders Awareness WeekMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Aww that will be fun! Have a great time!

  5. Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud!

    seems like ive been messing up a lot in the kitchen honestly, even something small.
    The last one though was the porkchops when my bread came out soggy! Im going to try them again next week though :)
    Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! recently posted..Rrrrandom & Condiment Expiration DatesMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Maybe I just need to come over and make them for you haha! ;)

  6. natalie @ southern fit foodie

    I’ve never made it, but I have eaten it before! It was delicious!

    I have messed up my fair share of dishes, believe me. Not too long ago I added WAY to much olive oil to my French oven and ended “frying” my bacon wrapped filet pieces instead of pan searing them. Oops!

    Tomorrow I’m heading to Memphis to take another pole-fitness class with my friend (don’t judge – it is SO much fun!). That’s about it other than church, grocery shopping, and cooking. Good luck house hunting today!
    natalie @ southern fit foodie recently posted..M-Swag BagMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Haha not judging! Sounds like a good workout!! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  7. Faith @ For the Health of It

    Oops – I hate when silly mistakes like that happen. It looks delicious though; glad you got it figured out!

  8. kaceyjt

    the most recent mistake that i’ve made was adding baking soda instead of baking powder to some sweet potato biscuits…bleh! they tasted so bad:P
    whenever i make anything that involves tempering eggs, i stir like a mad woman when adding the hot water to the eggs and then again when adding the eggs to the rest of the dish. that always seems to work for me!

    • notsodomesticated

      Haha I tried the “mad woman” strategy, but I guess I wasn’t “mad” enough!! ;)

  9. Shannon from Healthiful Balance

    A dish I messed up lately was OATMEAL. Yes.. probably the easiest thing to make..ever! :P I added too much water and it almost exploded in the microwave..
    Shannon from Healthiful Balance recently posted..Good Mood Mojo & Me TimeMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Oh no!!! Well at least you didn’t try to put foil in there haha. That was an important lesson I learned as a child while making chicken nuggets! ;)

  10. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy

    I made that last year for Jordan, and my eggs turned out the same way. It still tasted good though!
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..A Little Life UpdateMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Thanks, Emily … glad I’m not the only one!!

  11. Kat

    Not a bacon fan, but this dish sounds delicious other than that!! Good luck house hunting. Cant wait to see what you guys find!
    Kat recently posted..Kettlebell Fun!My Profile

  12. Baking Serendipity

    I’ve never made a carbonara before, but scrambling the eggs is something I would do too! I’ve yet to master fried rice and I’ve tried more times than I can count :(
    Baking Serendipity recently posted..365: Week NineMy Profile

  13. Lawyer Loves Lunch

    I have made the same mistake before and truth be told, I kinda liked it with the scrambled eggs. And Italian/Chinese fried rice sounds pretty darn tasty :)

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