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Are you craving an incredibly delicious pasta dish, that is super easy to make? Look no further than Penne Carbonara!
Carbonara is a dish that originates from the Eternal City of Rome. This version is inspired by the authentic Roman dish, but I have made a few tweaks and the results are mighty fine. 🙂
Read this Wikipedia article about Carbonara for some history and information on the authentic dish.
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Penne Carbonara?
You'll be shocked at how few ingredients are required for this Penne Carbonara!
You will need:
- Parmesan cheese
- Reserved pasta water (may not need to use this but reserve some anyway just in case)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Italian parsley (optional garnish)
The Easy Method To Make This Incredible Dish!
It couldn't be easier to make Penne Carbonara. You simply fry the bacon a bit until slightly crispy. You want a little bit of crispiness but don't overdo this part. 🙂
Next it's important to remove all but around 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Once done, add garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
And the sauce? The sauce consists of eggs and parmesan cheese. This is whisked together and added to the cooked penne, bacon, and garlic, along with some of the reserved pasta water (if needed).
I usually reserve about a cup of pasta water (collected right at the end of cooking the pasta) when I make sauces. The reserved starchy pasta water is not always needed, however, when needed it can make the difference between pasta that is sticky and a pasta that has a nice and silky smooth sauce!
Most Important Tip In Making This Penne Carbonara!
Taking the hot skillet and contents off the heat and allowing it to cool for a bit before adding the egg and parmesan is critical! This is the absolute most important thing to remember when making this Penne Carbonara!
Why? Because if the skillet and contents are too hot, you will end up with scrambled eggs or curdled eggs, instead of a nice silky smooth sauce.
Why Should I Make This Penne Carbonara?
There are so many reasons to make and love this pasta dish! But in a nutshell:
- It's delicious!
- It's quick!
- It's easy!
- It's budget friendly!
- Your entire family will love it!
So, are you ready to give this a go? I do hope so!
Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, black pepper, and Italian parsley if so desired. Buon appetito!
Sub Spaghetti For Penne!
I've also made Spaghetti Carbonara! This is equally delicious!
Some Other Dishes You May Enjoy!
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Easy, Quick, and Delicious Penne Carbonara!
- Large skillet
- 1 lb penne pasta cooked according to package directions; I have allowed for 10 minutes in this recipe but please adjust according to your package directions
- 5 slices bacon diced
- 8 cloves garlic minced; I usually go heavy on the garlic but please adjust to your tastes
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated, plus additional for garnish
- ¼ ts salt plus additional to taste
- ¼ ts pepper plus additional to taste
- Italian parsley optional garnish
- Cook your diced bacon in a large skillet on medium high heat. Fry the bacon a bit until slightly crispy. You want a little bit of crispiness but don't overdo this part. 🙂 This may take between 3-5 minutes. Stir often.
- Once the bacon is slightly crispy, remove all but about 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Lower the heat to medium low, then add the garlic. Stir fry continuously for around 2 minutes being careful not to let the garlic burn. Turn off the heat, then set the skillet aside for now.
- Place eggs and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Whisk well until both ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook your penne according to package directions. Just prior to draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain penne.
- Add the penne to the skillet which has the garlic and bacon. Allow this to cool about a minute, and then add the whisked egg and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Stir well to incorporate, and add a little reserved pasta water (only if needed) to loosen up the pasta. You are aiming for a smooth and silky sauce, with no scrambled eggs in sight. 🙂 Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve! Garnish with Italian parsley, black pepper, and additional parmesan cheese if desired. Mangia!