Oh Spaghetti Carbonara. You’re like the richest, creamiest, swoon-worthy pasta ever. A cross between an Alfredo (cream), Amatriciana (bacon/olive oil) and Cacio e Pepe (cheese & pepper), this Roman pasta rules them all!
And, in true Jeffrey fashion, it’s one of the easiest things you can make while remaining one of the best pastas you’ll taste. I know those are some big words to prove, but once you try this in your Instant Pot, you’ll see I not only talk the talk, I walk the walk!
So break out the carbon paper, because I think you’ll all be making this Carbonara with results of love, happiness and lip-smacking.
Here’s How I Made It!:
Start out by adding some olive oil to the pot and heat it up.
Once heated, add in some glorious diced pancetta (which is basically Italian bacon)
Stir it around in the oil for a few…
…until it really begins to simmer and become nice and cooked.
Once it begins to brown, crisp and get firmer, remove it with a slotted spoon…
…and place in a bowl. Set aside for later as the Pancetta will become even crispier as it sits out.
Now take an onion…
…dice it up…
…and add it to the remaining oil/pancetta grease in the pot.
Allow it to cook for a few minutes…
…and then add in some crushed garlic…
…stirring everything together for another minute.
Now add in some chicken broth…
…and our pasta of choice: Spaghetti!
Break the spaghetti in half over the pot (you have to break it in half for it to properly fit and cook – so don’t yell at me, Nonna!)…
…and smooth the Spaghetti out so it’s nice and submerged in the broth. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While the pasta’s cooking, we’re gonna focus on what makes a Carbonara a Carbonara: eggs! Take three large eggs…
…and crack them into a bowl.
Then, add in some grated Parmesan cheese…
…some kosher salt…
…and beat together…
…until well combined. Set aside for the time being.
Once done cooking, give the pasta a good stir…
…and then add in some butter and stir until totally melted.
Now to dairy-up this dish. Add in some half & half or heavy cream…
…as well as the egg mixture.
Give everything a good stir in the pot.
This step is IMPORTANT: Come do the control panel and make sure you hit the “Sauté” function to give it some heat.
Constantly stir the pasta in the egg mixture and cream. After a few minutes, the heat from the pot will begin to cook the egg and it will begin to clump-up beautifully and cling to the pasta. Once it looks like this…
…add in some grated Pecorino-Romano cheese…
…as well as that beautiful Pancetta we cooked earlier (reserving some for topping on each bowl of pasta).
Give everything one final good stir…
…and then serve immediately in some bowls with some reserved Pancetta, grated parmesan and black pepper sprinkled on top (if desired).
Now THAT’S AMORE!
Enjoy every last twirl of this decadent and classy Carbonara!
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 10 oz of diced Pancetta
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp of garlic
- 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) of salted butter
- 3 cups of garlic broth (I used 3 tsp of Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups of water but you can also use Chicken Better Than Bouillon/chicken broth instead and it will still be great)
- 1 box (1 lb) of Spaghetti
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
- 1 cup of grated Pecorino Romano
- 1.5 cups of half & half or heavy cream (NOTE: If you want it VERY creamy, add in up to 1 more cup in Step 10)
- 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
- Cracked black pepper, for topping (optional)
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add in the Pancetta and sauté for about 8 minutes until it begins to get browned and firm. Remove with a slotted spoon when done, place in a bowl and set aside for later but leave all the oil and juices from the Pancetta in the pot
- Add the onion to the pot and sauté in the oil/Pancetta grease for 3 minutes. As the onions sweat, deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to get up the sticky layer the Pancetta formed on it while cooking. The bottom should be nice and clear
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more and then add the broth to the pot
- Over the pot, break the Spaghetti in half (it won’t fit and cook properly otherwise, so don’t chase me with rolling pins), making sure it’s covered by the broth by smoothing it out with a mixing spoon/spatula
- Secure the lid and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 8 minutes (yes, 8 minutes)
- While the Spaghetti’s cooking, mix together the eggs, grated Parmesan and salt. Set aside
- Quick release when the Spaghetti’s done and give it all a good stir. Add the butter to the Spaghetti and give it another good a stir until the butter’s melted and combined (about a minute)
- Pour in the cream and nutmeg followed by the egg mixture
- IMPORTANT STEP: Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” again and it should still be on the “More” or “High” setting from earlier. Stir the Spaghetti CONSTANTLY for a good 3 minutes as the cream and egg mixture heats through and begins to thicken. Once the sauce begins to get clumpy and cling to the pasta (which is what we want), turn the pot off by hitting “Keep Warm/Cancel” again
- Add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese and Pancetta (reserving some for topping) and stir very well until melded into the sauce and the Carbonara sauce looks a bit curdled in texture and richly creamy/cheesy to perfection. (NOTE: If you want it EXTRA creamy, now is the time to stir in up to an additional cup of half & half or heavy cream)
- Serve immediately, top with reserved Pancetta, more grated cheese and some cracked black pepper if desired
“8 minutes for Spaghetti?! Is that too much time and will it become mush?” Not at all. It cooks it absolutely perfectly without being too soft or too hard. Trust me – I know my pasta cook times very well by now!
Some like it with peas. If that’s the case, add a 10 oz box of frozen peas when you stir in the butter in Step 7 – they will thaw almost immediately from the heat of the pasta.