Tomato Carbonara Recipe


This bright and flavorful dish is full of Italian flair.

Tomato Carbonara
Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
6 serves

Give this indulgent pasta dish more of an Italian flair by using prosciutto or pancetta instead of bacon. Cherry tomatoes add pops of summery brightness and color. The key to making great tasting pasta is in the cooking water. Add about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a large stockpot of water before boiling. When the pasta is cooked, reserve a couple of cups of cooking water before draining the pasta. The salty, starchy liquid seasons your homemade sauce, gives it a silky texture and helps it cling to the noodles. Don't rinse the pasta or you will wash away more of the good starch. Add the pasta water a little at a time, stirring until the sauce is rich and smooth.


  • 12 ounces uncooked dried fettuccine

  • 1 cup chopped bacon (about 9 oz.)

  • 2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 ½ cups cooking water.

  2. While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

  3. Add tomatoes to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add shallots, and cook, stirring often, until shallots and tomatoes are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water; bring to boil. Remove from heat, and stir in pasta. Stir in egg yolks, 1 at a time, until thoroughly combined.

  4. Return skillet to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bacon, cheese, chives, parsley, and pepper until cheese melts and sauce is smooth, adding remaining ½ cup cooking water if necessary to reach desired consistency.

  5. Top servings evenly with grated Parmesan.


Don't worry about the raw egg yolks in this recipe. The heat of the pan and hot pasta water "cook" them, making a rich, silky sauce.

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