Filipino-style Pasta Carbonara

Filipino-style Pasta Carbonara loaded with crisp bacon, sauteed mushrooms, and flavorful cream sauce is a tasty pasta dish the whole family is sure to love. It’s so easy to make and perfect for family dinners or special occasions.

I have crispy binagoongan scheduled next on our holiday menu line-up, but since pasta dishes are trendy during Christmas, I decided to post this Filipino-style Pasta Carbonara first. You’ll be glad I did! It’s rich, creamy, and loaded with crisp bacon and delicious mushrooms for the perfect Noche Buena dish.

Like our Filipino-style spaghetti and macaroni salad, pasta carbonara is one dish we’ve adapted from the west to suit our Pinoy tastes.

It’s traditionally made with pancetta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and copious amounts of garlic and fresh parsley. However, although cured meat, such as bacon or ham, is still a core ingredient, this dish has evolved in our local food scene to include cream sauce and mushrooms.

This Filipino spaghetti carbonara is easy to make for everyday family dinners yet fancy enough for holiday gatherings. You’ll be out of the kitchen to enjoy the company of your guests in no time!

It has a simple list of ingredients and is ready in an hour or less. And the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a large crowd!

Ingredient notes

  • Bacon, bacon, bacon! Bacon adds most of the flavor to this pasta dish, so please don’t skimp! I usually use about two pounds and love the crisp, smoky bits at every bite!
  • Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess for a heavenly sauce!
  • The recipe uses spaghetti noodles, but linguine, fettuccini, or penne are also great options.
  • Please do not skip the nutmeg! It’s not a traditional ingredient in Filipino-style pasta carbonara, but it does round up the flavors of the cream sauce beautifully.

Cooking Tips

  • Cook the pasta for a few minutes less than the package directions, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
  • Pasta tends to absorb a lot of moisture, so go a little heavy on the cream sauce to compensate for the drying out. The sauce will also thicken as it sits, so make it a bit thinner than you’d like.
  • Once you add the heavy cream, cook at a gentle simmer, and do not boil to prevent the sauce from curdling.

Serving suggestions

  • You can toss the sauce and pasta together in the pan according to the recipe if you’re serving it right away. For a later time, I suggest storing the sauce and noodles separately and tossing them together when ready to serve.
  • Enjoy this Filipino-style spaghetti carbonara with garlic bread and a green salad for a filling and delicious lunch or dinner!

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