Penne Alla Carbonara


Summertime calls for many light pasta dishes at our house. It’s quick, easy, and can be prepared as a hot or cold dish (aka cold pasta salad). 

Carbonara is one of my favorite ways to eat pasta. Simple ingredients that come together with little effort create an effortlessly luxurious dish. Smooth, light, and creamy is a yes for me on these hot summer Colorado days.

Though authentic carbonara is prepared with spaghetti or bucatini and guanciale (cured pork jowl), my version is heavily based on the pantry and fridge ingredients I had available to me. I had penne pasta on hand and decided to go for it. Penne has ridges that are perfect for the creaminess of the carbonara to adhere to. While I always keep some pancetta in the freezer, this time around I had a thick cut bacon to use. This dish was delicious! Let’s eat.

Here is the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings :4


  • 16 oz. (4 cups) of penne pasta, boiled and drained 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup of fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup of fresh pecorino romano, grated
  • 1 cup of frozen sweet green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup of pasta water
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 strips of thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped small
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, grated


  1. Generously salt your pasta water and cook the pasta per the package instructions. While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon strips using your preferred method of cooking bacon.
  2. Place the crispy cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain the excess fat. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, boil the sweet green peas, then drain and set aside. This step takes about 5 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, add the grated cheese and incorporate the egg yolks, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic. Gently mix all the ingredients together. Set it aside.
  5. Once the pasta is done, scoop out one cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Quickly toss the pasta back into the hot pot.
  6. Add the cheese mixture and pasta water and stir to combine.
  7. Now incorporate the peas and bacon. Lightly stir it all together.
  8. Lastly, top with kosher salt and cracked black ground pepper if desired. Garnish with some fresh oregano. Enjoy!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I love the idea of Carbonara, but don’t eat meat. What would you recommend as a substitute for the bacon?


    1. Jessy says:

      Maybe some breadcrumbs? Saute them in a skillet with olive oil and a few other spices (something smoky/paprika perhaps). That should give the dish that little crunch… Let me know what you think!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, yes…that sounds fabulous. I will give it a go and let you know how I get on!


      2. Jessy says:

        Sound great!!


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