How to Make Carbonara with Cream: A Delicious Twist on a Classic Dish

Carbonara is a beloved Italian pasta dish that has gained popularity all over the world. Traditionally made with eggs, cheese, pancetta, and black pepper, carbonara is known for its rich and creamy texture. However, there is a variation of this dish that incorporates cream, known as “carbonara con nata” in Spanish. In this article, we will explore how to make carbonara with cream, discuss its origins, and provide valuable insights to help you create a delicious twist on this classic recipe.

The Origins of Carbonara con Nata

Carbonara is believed to have originated in the Lazio region of Italy, specifically in Rome. The exact origins of the dish are unclear, with several theories surrounding its creation. One popular theory suggests that carbonara was created by Italian charcoal workers, who used eggs, cheese, and pancetta to create a hearty and filling meal. Over time, the recipe evolved, and different variations emerged.

The addition of cream to carbonara is a more recent variation that has gained popularity in certain regions, including Spain. While traditional carbonara does not include cream, the addition of nata (cream in Spanish) adds a velvety and luxurious texture to the dish. This variation has become a favorite among those who prefer a creamier carbonara.

Ingredients for Carbonara con Nata

To make carbonara with cream, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice
  • 200 grams of pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making carbonara with cream:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  3. In a separate pan, cook the diced pancetta or bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream to the pan. Stir gently to combine with the garlic.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Slowly pour the egg yolk and cheese mixture into the pan with the cream, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the cream sauce. Toss the pasta gently to coat it evenly with the sauce.
  9. Add the crispy pancetta or bacon back to the pan and mix well.
  10. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  11. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
  12. Serve the carbonara con nata immediately and enjoy!


1. Can I use different types of pasta for carbonara con nata?

Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer for carbonara con nata. While spaghetti is the traditional choice, feel free to experiment with different shapes and sizes of pasta to suit your taste.

2. Can I substitute pancetta or bacon with other ingredients?

Absolutely! If you don’t have pancetta or bacon on hand, you can substitute them with other cured meats like prosciutto or even smoked salmon for a unique twist. Alternatively, you can also use mushrooms or vegetables for a vegetarian version of carbonara con nata.

3. Is carbonara con nata a healthier option compared to traditional carbonara?

Carbonara con nata is generally considered to be a richer and more indulgent version of traditional carbonara due to the addition of cream. While it may not be the healthiest option, it is certainly a delicious treat to enjoy in moderation.

4. Can I freeze carbonara con nata?

It is not recommended to freeze carbonara con nata, as the cream sauce may separate and become grainy upon thawing. It is best to enjoy this dish fresh.

5. Can I add other ingredients to enhance the flavor of carbonara con nata?

Absolutely! Carbonara con nata is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can add ingredients like sautéed onions, mushrooms, or even a splash of white wine to enhance the flavor of the dish.


Carbonara con nata is a delicious twist on the classic Italian pasta dish. By incorporating cream into the traditional carbonara recipe, you can create a rich and creamy version that is sure to impress your taste buds. Whether you choose to stick to the traditional ingredients or experiment with different variations, carbonara con nata is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences. So, gather your ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and indulge in a plate of homemade carbonara con nata!

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