Linguine Carbonara

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This is an Italian classic but I first tasted this dish when I visited the Greek island of Corfu in 1988. The Italian food Caribinieri will insist that this dish NOT contain any cream.

Lucky for the Italians, I can pull off this dish without cream but if you’re the type that likes it in the mix, who am I to stop you?

Carbonara is very popular in Greece and it’s often found on menus alongside other pastas & pizzas on offer.

After spending five weeks in Greece, I craved something a little different and this quick, filling and most satisfying dish always hits the spot.

There are many legends as to the origins of the dish…you pick the one you like and spout it off to your dinner guests…they’ll think you cooked under the tutelage of Mario Batali!

Linguine Carbonara
(per serving)

1 handful of dry linguine
2 egg yolks
cracked black pepper to taste
grated Romano cheese
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup of diced bacon, pancetta or guanciale
splash of dry white wine
pasta water
chopped fresh parsley

  1. Get a pot of water to boil and then add a generous amount of salt and cook your pasta to just under al dente (6-7 minutes).
  2. In a large skillet, add your bacon and some water and place over high heat. The water will boil down to nothing and then your bacon will render better and crisp up nicely. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, remove most of the remaining fat (save a Tbsp.) and reserve.
  3. Allow your skillet to cool down a bit and add your diced onions and garlic (add a bit of olive oil if the skillet has too little fat) over medium heat and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add a splash of white wine and deglaze the pan and take off the heat (you may remove the garlic cloves now, if you wish).
  5. In a small bowl, whisk your egg yolks, black pepper and Romano cheese and reserve.
  6. When your pasta is ready, strain while remembering to reserve some pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet (off the heat) along with some pasta water and your egg yolk mixture.
  7. At this point the residual heat of the hot pasta and pasta water should cook and bind your mixture into a thick & creamy sauce.
  8. Add your chopped parsley and adjust seasoning with salt (rarely needed) and cracked black pepper to taste. Grate some additional Romano cheese on top if desired.

© 2008 – 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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50 Comments for “Linguine Carbonara”



Mmmmm! This kind of pasta always satisfies my soul… and my tummy!!! Great pics!

It’s also a classic, here in Spain, many restaurants have it in their menus. Kids love it :D



I made angel hair carbonara as a side dish one night last week, but, of course, I used cream. My youngest two were astonished at the wonderful goodness of it! Yours is certainly pretty with the parsley in it, which I didn’t think to put in mine (it wasn’t in the cookbook’s recipe).



Yummmm! I love this dish so much. I don’t even think I have ever made it for the girls??? Thanks for the reminder!



I have never made Carbonara without cream.
I will have to give this a go Peter, as I’m not a fan of cream.
I always think I’d like Carbonara even more if it didn’t have cream in it……am I making any sence? LOL



Oh definitely without cream – barely cooked yolk and a bit o’ cheese does just fine for me!

A student day favourite of mine, that I hardly ever make now!



I don’t want to publicly admit this, but I do like the Greek version with the cream better. Sometimes the egg has too much of a strong flavour.



OK, I see!!
Now you come back from Greece, we have to wait for so many of your tasty recipes:)
So, let’s enjoy them:)))

Laurie Constantino


Everything goes better with bacon! And like Jodimop, I love the cream version. Maybe it’s time to try it without…

The Short (dis)Order Cook


I love love love carbonara. It’s the first thing I made for myself the last time my bacon-hating husband went on a business trip.

I try to do an authentic cream-free version as well, although I do end up with some egg chunks occasionally. However, I take away that authenticity by using garlic and red pepper flakes. I see I’m not the only one who uses garlic though.



I will tke this any day and I have always loved capers no one ele in my world does( re: previous post).

Peter M


Nuria, it’s so easy to make and so hearty…a great pasta dish.

Marjie, I have no problem with cream use as I’ll go that route too.

Mediocre…a quick and filling weeknite dish.

Gloria, it’s delicioso.

Judy, they’d luv it and you get to cheat a dinner as it’s so easy.

Jan, it’s a little trickier but the pasta water’s the key (tempering).

Ahhh Kittie eats with adventure and eggs over easy (my kinda gal).

Jeanne, seems to be 2 camps…whatever you prefer.

Ioanna, I’ve also had Greek carbonara’s that were disasters…no egg and use of ham!

Foody, garlic is a must for me.

Elena, I think you’ve seen the other Greek dish I posted by now, no?

Laurie, I can eat both, depending on my mood. This time I went for the original.

JS, if one learns to not scramble the eggs here…simplest of dishes.

Jenn, my homage to Cucina Italiano.

Ruthey, thanks!

Hi Aimee and merci!

Shorty, again…employ the pasta water to temper the heat.

Glam, I would eat this more if it weren’t so hi on the cholestrol chart.

Maybelle, I’ve eaten it in all the seasons.

Kat, mine too!

Sandie…too late…I’m already on my way…Mp3 player packed with tunes and some liquor!

Peter G


I prefer the cream version but I’m sure the Italian internet food police will not like that!….great pics Peter

We Are Never Full


welcome back boner king!!! good to see you back in the game.

and F cream in carbonara. seriously guys… we need to start a revolution with this! NO CREAM IN CARBONARA!! NO CREAM IN CARBONARA!

Bellini Valli


The wonderful thing about carbonara is the flavour…and my hips appreciate the no cream at my age:D



This looks just perfect, Peter! Carbonara is one of our favorite dishes. Have you ever tried it with the guanciale? It’s almost a religious experience! We have a place here that makes their own guanciale and I grab it whenever I find it.



3 seconds … that's the maximum time I can look at your gorgeous carbonara photoes & not go crazy because they set off an instant craving :D They look so perfect!~



Welcome back from your hols Peter! Loving the look of this and that glorious looking caper salad below. Yummo!



I’ve missed these mouthwatering recipes! welcome back! this could be my lunch today – you’ve gotten me really hungry!



lovely pictures–did you get the fork to stand on its own or are you secretly holding it up? :)
i’m loving the specks of pepper, too. frankly, i’m loving the whole thing. :)

Peter M


Ivy, I could eat this each day too but my better judgement saves me.

Pete, watch it the Italian food Polizei are near! lol

Never Full…The B-King is glad to be back!

Val, the falvour vs. the ease in prepping the dish makes it so popular.

Nina, double WOW~!

Sticky, I can get guanciale here…large Italian population I'll spurge & buy it at last.

Noob, the good thing is that you can satisfy your craving in 20minutes!

Marie, thank you…it's good to receive a warm welcome.

Thanks Meeta and sorry to stir up your hunger…mea culpa.

Grace, the fork stood up all by itself…I wanted to show how good the sauce came out.

Patricia Scarpin


It’s great having you back, Pete!
And carbonara is one of my favorite ways of having pasta. Delicious!



Ah . . . my beloved Corfu! Appropriate that you had your first taste of an Italian pasta dish on that island, since it’s so closely tied both geographically and historically to Italy. I remember the radio stations changing from Greek to Italian depending on which side of the island you were driving on.



Oooo a good new carbonara recipe. Thanks Peter!

I had no idea it was so popular in Greece. I figured it was sort of solely Italian.

cook eat FRET


that’s it

this is my favorite dish
or at least in the top 10

love the photo’s and the recipe is spot on. ruhlman had the audacity to add cream. i think that is just WRONG…