This easy pasta carbonara recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare, and can be either a quick weeknight meal or an elegant dinner!
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Weeknight meals are not always meticulously planned in our house. I usually have 3-4 dinners planned in advance and the rest are either haphazardly pulled together from whatever we have on hand, or come from one of two places: a cereal box or the sushi place across the street. So I’m always pretty proud of myself when I can make some magic on a whim with stuff I already have.
The other day, as I held my thumb above the send button to tell Phil cereal was on the menu that night, I had an epiphany. There was bacon in the fridge! And I suddenly remembered this easy pasta carbonara recipe I’d made a while back that was delicious AND took all of 20 minutes to make.
This easy pasta carbonara recipe totally hit the spot (as a plateful of carbs so often does)! Needless to say, I have added this to my arsenal of fast, easy recipes using common ingredients, and I think you should too. For other favorites along those lines, see baked eggs in purgatory – if you have a jar of marinara on hand, and this quick chicken tortilla soup.
I will leave you with one of my favorite tips that so often saves the day when I need to whip up something delicious for dinner on the fly!
A useful tip for last minute weeknight meals
I could have made this easy pasta carbonara recipe even if I didn’t have bacon in the fridge because I ALWAYS have some in the freezer! Here’s what I do.
I buy a pound of bacon, split it into portions of 3-4 slices each and freeze. When I need bacon for a recipe, all I need to do is chop up that frozen bacon and cook it in a pan. No need to thaw, it’s easy to chop and cooks perfectly from frozen. This way I always have it on hand to add to all manner of quick last minute meals from salads to pasta to omelets and fritattas.
Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would be THRILLED if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Products I used to make this easy pasta carbonara recipe
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Easy Pasta Carbonara
- 12 oz rotini or any other pasta shape (spaghetti is traditional)
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 6 slices bacon diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve a cup of liquid before draining the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, whisk the eggs and parmesan together in a small bowl.
- Add the bacon to a large saute pan or skillet and turn the heat up to medium. Cook until the bacon is crispy about 5-7 minutes. Do not drain the fat from the pan. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the the pasta to the pan. Pour the egg and cheese mixture, along with the salt and pepper on top, and quickly toss it with a wooden spoon until well coated.
- Add a splash of pasta water and stir again. Keep adding a little pasta water and stirring until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Sprinkle with a little parsley and serve.