Carbonara is a classic and simple Italian recipe. At its most basic, it's made of beaten eggs tossed with cooked pasta, some pancetta or bacon, cheese, and pasta cooking water to make a sauce. It's inexpensive, delicious, and quick and easy to make. Of course there are millions of variations on the typical recipe.
I like adding cream to my carbonara recipes just for the texture difference. The cream also makes the dish feel and taste more substantial. Carbonara sauce can be used to make quesadillas, it can be a pizza topping, and you can add everything from shrimp to meatballs. In fact, experiment! You can add cubed ham, cooked shredded chicken or turkey, and any vegetable to the basic carbonara recipe.
Just make sure that the eggs are well beaten and that you toss the mixture with the hot pasta over low heat or off the heat. You want the eggs to cook, but you don't want them to overcook, because then they'll scramble and you'll lose that silky texture. Enjoy these recipes!
Carbonara Mac and Cheese
Egg yolks and four kinds of cheese, along with bacon, make this version of mac and cheese simply sublime. When you really want something comforting, this is the recipe to make.
A creamy mixture of carbonara sauce, bacon, and cheese is the filling in these fabulous quesadillas. They're perfect for a snack or light lunch or for an appetizer when you're watching the game.
This recipe from my book "Almost Homemade Cooking" is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. In the spring, I like to add some lightly cooked asparagus to the mixture. It's also great with some cooked chicken or shrimp tossed in.
What could be better than a pizza with bacon? How about a pizza with bacon and a creamy carbonara sauce? It's baked until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top.
This classic recipe is simple and perfect. It's one of my favorite comfort food meals and I make it often in the winter.
Tuna and red bell peppers add delicious flavor and color to this easy recipe. This is another classic go-to recipe. You could also add canned salmon, drained and flaked.
Who says you have to use long pasta to make carbonara? Pierogies are hearty and large stuffed pasta filled with potatoes and cheese. They're fabulous in this simple recipe.
Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara
I love adding salmon to just about everything. It's the perfect addition to spaghetti carbonara. The peas add fresh color and flavor, but green beans or broccoli would also be nice additions.