5 from 4 votes

Delicious Tagliatelle Carbonara 

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Tagliatelle carbonara is your new fave pasta dish that’s big on flavor. This simple twist on a classic has crispy pancetta and an indulgent carbonara.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£0.87
Makes: 4
mains
Italian

Tagliatelle carbonara is a simple twist on a classic. With thicker noodles that sop up the indulgent carbonara sauce and crispy pancetta bits, this recipe is big on flavor. Serve this dish with a side of bread to swipe up all the cheesy sauce!

Tagliatelle in a large stainless steel pan with pancetta and parmesan topping mixed with tongs, next to 2 bowls with pepper and pancetta in partial view.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Indulgent – This delicious tagliatelle carbonara includes crispy pancetta pieces and a rich egg yolk sauce, contrasting perfectly with a generous crack of black pepper- making this the perfect comfort dish.

Simple Recipe – The best part about tagliatelle alla carbonara is you only need about four ingredients (not including seasoning) to make a delicious pasta dish.

Bold Flavors – Though the ingredients are simple, you can expect bold flavours from the pancetta, parmesan cheese, and yolks.

Try these other yummy pasta recipes this week: 5 Ingredient Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara, Chicken and Mushroom Pasta and Creamy Chicken and Chorizo Pasta.

Classic Carbonara

The golden rule of making carbonara is…keep it simple! Adding crispy pancetta bits, egg yolks, and parmesan means this tasty dish is packed with richness and flavours. So, it doesn’t need tons of other flavours like garlic, herbs and spices.

A short bit of history. While many Italian pasta dishes have been passed down through multiple generations, carbonara is relatively new (invented in 1944!). It was accidentally created by an American soldier in Italy who received spaghetti but felt it needed more flavor. So, his other rations (including powdered eggs, bacon, and cream) were added to the dish, creating the beloved carbonara. It quickly spread throughout Italy, eventually shifting to a recipe without cream.

What pasta is carbonara traditionally made with? A traditional carbonara recipe is typically made with spaghetti. I’ve switched this recipe to include tagliatelle, which holds the tagliatelle carbonara sauce better than spaghetti.

What is Tagliatelle Pasta?

Colour, shape, texture, how it is made? Tagliatelle pasta is a type of pasta which is long and flat. This pasta is often compared to ribbon, as it has a similar appearance. It’s typically made with eggs and wheat flour. Since it contains eggs, it features a lightly yellow colour.

What does this particular pasta bring to the dish? Since the noodles are wider, they make the perfect base for this tagliatelle carbonara. The wide, flat noodles cling to the creamy carbonara sauce for the ultimate pasta dish.

Expert Troubleshooting Tips:

Scrambling the eggs: Temper the eggs with the reserved pasta water and add when the frying pan is off the heat when making this tagliatelle carbonara. Otherwise, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.

Adding cream: Avoid adding cream to this recipe; it doesn’t need it! Cream can lead to too much fat and greasy pasta, making the dish overly heavy.

Using cold eggs: This is a big no-no, as it creates a lumpy sauce. Start with room-temperature eggs. Leave them out for about 30 minutes before making this recipe to let them come to room temp.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make tagliatella carbonara laid out on a pale blue back ground and labelled.

Pancetta – The crispy pieces of pancetta in this carbonara tagliatelle provide a more decadent taste. You can also use crispy bits of bacon or guancialle if you wish. Guancialle is pig cheek, which is what a traditional carbonara uses.

Tagliatelle – Tagliatelle carbonara wouldn’t be the same without tagliatelle! However, you can use other types of pasta if desired. The carbonara sauce works with anything from gnocchi to linguine. This recipe also works with homemade tagliatelle.

Parmesan – An essential part of this recipe is the parmesan, which helps add flavour to the sauce. Grana Padano and pecorino romano are great alternatives in this recipe.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Here are some variations you can incorporate into your tagliatelle carbonara for an even more delicious version of this dish.

Use different pasta – While it’s common to use spaghetti in this recipe, you can use the sauce on nearly any type of pasta. Consider making this dish with bowties, gnocchi, or whatever you have on hand.

Use different cheese – Instead of parmesan, try using another Italian cheese like pecorino.

Use guanciale – Pancetta is a tasty way to add protein. However, you can easily swap it out for guanciale, a type of Italian cured meat instead.

Add chicken or mushrooms for a heartier meal. Make this carbonara with tagliatelle more filling by including other proteins and more veg. You can also include peas or other similar ingredients to bulk up the dish.

How to make this delicious tagliatelle carbonara

  1. Start by adding your pancetta into a cold pan over a low heat. Now gently fry to allow the fat to render (Image 1).
  2. Once the fat has rendered slightly, you can increase the heat to medium/low. When the pancetta is crispy (after around 8-10 minutes) turn off the heat. Then remove ⅓ of the pancetta to have as a crispy garnish (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with sliced pancetta in a stainless steel pan with a wooden spoon and the second with the pancetta fried.

3. After around 5 minutes, add your tagliatelle to salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus one minute (Image 3).

4. To a bowl, combine egg yolks, whole egg, the parmesan and a generous amount of pepper. Add two tbsp of the pasta water to the egg/cheese mix to bring the mix up to temperature (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with tagliatelle added to water in a pan with blue handles and the second with egg and parmesan mixed with a whisk in a blue bowl.

Before draining your pasta, reserve a large mug full of the pasta water.

5. Transfer the tagliatelle to the pan with the crispy pancetta. Toss to coat in the rendered fat (=flavour!) (Image 5).

6. Then,given that your pan isn’t hot anymore, add the egg/parm mix with a ladle of pasta water (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with cooked tagliatelle and bacon in a large pan mixed with tongs and the second with the eggy sauce added.

7. Use tongs to incorporate and loosen as necessary with more pasta water (Image 7).

8. Top with the crispy pancetta, an extra sprinkle of parm and a crack of black pepper. Serve up in some pasta bowls and enjoy!  (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with cooked tagliatelle and bacon in a large pan mixed with tongs and the second with the eggy sauce added and 2 small bowls of pancetta and pepper in partial view.

Tips for the best result

Make sure you whisk the eggs enough. Not whisking the eggs enough means your sauce won’t be uniform. Ensure you properly mix the yolks and whites for the best results.

Temper your eggs with pasta water. Avoid a chunky sauce in this tagliatelle carbonara recipe by tempering the eggs first with leftover pasta cooking water. This step will help ensure you have a silky smooth sauce.

Add egg mixture when pan is off heat to avoid scrambling. The sauce for this dish should be made completely off the heat. This step and tempering will ensure you don’t have a chunky sauce.

Use room-temperature eggs to avoid lumps in carbonara sauce. Another key to creating a smooth sauce is using eggs at room temperature. This tip also makes it easier to temper the eggs since they’re not cold.

Cook the pasta al dente. I always recommend making pasta al dente, as leftover pasta holds up better in the fridge.

Complete the meal with a salad or crusty bread. Make this recipe more filling with a fresh salad or loaf of bread.

Here are some more yummy pasta dishes to try this week: Pasta with Peas, Caramelized Shallot Pasta, and Spicy Chicken Pasta.

Tagliatelle in a large stainless steel pan with pancetta and parmesan topping.

Storage Instructions

This tagliatelle carbonara dish holds up fairly well in the fridge. Allow the pasta and sauce to cool slightly, then pack it into an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Reheating Leftovers

The best way to reheat this tagliatelle carbonara is by tossing it into a dish. You may need a splash of boiling to help bring the sauce together. Gently heat the tagliatelle over a low low heat for few minutes until heated.

FAQs

Difference between fettuccine and tagliatelle?

These two types of pasta are actually the same. However, the name of the pasta changes depending on where you find it. In Southern parts of Italy, this pasta is known as fettuccine. In the Northern parts, this same pasta is tagliatelle.

Is carbonara the same as alfredo sauce?

No, carbonara is not the same as alfredo sauce. For one, alfredo sauce is made with cream. Carbonara has no cream whatsoever. Instead, it’s made with egg yolks, pasta, water, and cheese.

Do the eggs cook in carbonara?

The eggs are cooked in carbonara (like in this tagliatelle carbonara dish). Gently heating the eggs helps provide a saucy consistency instead of a scrambled egg texture.

Why is my carbonara not creamy?

If you’ve used too many egg whites, your carbonara may be more watery than creamy. Ensure you follow the yolks-to-whites ratio below for the best results.
 
Add a creamy soup to the side of this tagliatelle carbonara for a more filling meal.

Here are some ideas: Easy Carrot and Coriander Soup, Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup, or Roasted Vegetable Soup.

Making for two?

If you’re here from my Valentine’s reel:

  • Use 150g pancetta, 3 egg yolks and 70g of parmesan and follow the same method below!
  • For the meringues using the leftover egg whites, whisk the whites of 3 eggs in a bowl until you achieve stiff peaks. Then, gradually add 160g caster sugar whilst continuously whisking. Add 5-6 dollops onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake at 160°C for 45 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 
  • For the strawberry sauce, cook 350g frozen strawberries with 2 tbsp of sugar and 100ml of water in a medium sized saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes, then blend with a hand blender until smooth. Serve cold as a drizzle. 
  • For the whipped cream, whisk double cream until thickened, then serve as a swoosh on your plate. Add as many meringues as you’d like with a drizzle of the strawberry coolie. Enjoy!

If you tried this Tagliatelle Carbonara recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Delicious Tagliatelle Carbonara

Print
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£0.87
mains
Italian
Servings: 4
Tagliatelle carbonara is your new fave pasta dish that’s big on flavor. This simple twist on a classic has crispy pancetta and an indulgent carbonara.

Ingredients

  • 200 g pancetta or guanciale, sliced into chunks (£2.85)
  • 350 g tagliatelle (£0.75)
  • 4 egg yolks + 1 whole egg (£1.50)
  • 110 g parmesan, finely grated (£1.85)

Cupboard Essentials

  • Coarsely Ground Black pepper
  • Salt

Method

  • Start by adding your pancetta into a cold pan over a low heat. Gently fry to allow the fat to render. Once the fat has rendered slightly, you can increase the heat to medium/low.
  • After around 5 minutes, add your tagliatelle to salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus one minute.
  • When the pancetta is crispy (after around 8-10 minutes) turn off the heat. Remove ⅓ of the pancetta to have as a crispy garnish.
  • To a bowl, combine egg yolks, whole egg, the parmesan and a generous amount of pepper. Add two tbsp of the pasta water to the egg/cheese mix to bring the mix up to temperature.
  • Before draining your pasta, reserve a large mug full of the pasta water. Transfer the tagliatelle to the pan with the crispy pancetta. Toss to coat in the rendered fat (=flavour!) and given that your pan isn’t hot anymore, add the egg/parm mix with a ladle of pasta water.
  • Use tongs to incorporate and loosen as necessary with more pasta water. Serve up into pasta bowls and top with the crispy pancetta, an extra sprinkle of parm and a crack of black pepper.

Notes

 
  • Mix yolks and whites well to achieve the best results.
  • Prevent a chunky sauce by tempering eggs with leftover pasta cooking water, ensuring a silky smooth texture.
  • Avoid scrambling by incorporating the sauce off the heat, complementing the tempering process for a non-chunky result.
  • Ensure a lump-free carbonara sauce by using eggs at room temperature, facilitating easier tempering and a smoother consistency.
  • Enhance the dish's longevity and texture by cooking the pasta al dente, as it holds up better when stored in the fridge.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 27g
Calories: 571kcal
Carbohydrates: 45g
Protein: 33g

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