Definition of carbonara in US English:



  • Denoting a pasta sauce made with bacon or ham, egg, and cream.

    postpositive ‘spaghetti carbonara’
    • ‘In the end I went for spaghetti carbonara, a dish I'd not had for years.’
    • ‘I love the stuff, as long as it's done properly and isn't simply more of the same old mass-produced pot-boilers like spaghetti carbonara, lasagne and quattro formaggi pizzas.’
    • ‘Her favorite foods were pasta with carbonara sauce and Captain Crunch cereal.’
    • ‘Or eight pieces of bacon, oozing a nice puddle of fat with which to sauce that four-person portion of spaghetti carbonara… eaten solo.’
    • ‘The penne carbonara was as simple as the name suggests, a lightly creamy pasta with bacon, but it was fresh and delicious.’
    • ‘Linguine carbonara, though Italian rather than French in style, is delicious, with a distinctively creamy taste.’
    • ‘After that, Margaret brought our dinner, which was spaghetti carbonara.’
    • ‘I always order spaghetti carbonara, on the ground that it is bacon and eggs, so you can almost call it breakfast.’
    • ‘She then grabbed another pot out of the cupboard, and started to cook her carbonara sauce to accompany the pasta.’
    • ‘The menu has a good selection of Italian staples, including seafood pasta and pizza, spaghetti carbonara, plain calzone and the tasty-sounding calzone kiev with chicken, mushroom and garlic.’
    • ‘To make a perfect carbonara sauce, you are not cooking eggs over heat, never, or they will curdle up; the heat from freshly cooked pasta should cook the eggs.’
    • ‘The day's specials, all priced at £5.50, included pasta carbonara, vegetable moussaka, spaghetti bolognese and Whitby seafood, all with garlic bread.’
    • ‘By the time your pasta is cooked the carbonara sauce will be reduced so it coats the back of a wooden spoon.’
    • ‘There's nothing remarkable about the cooking here, unless you count a particularly graceful spaghetti carbonara, the rich classic sauced with an eggy cream flavored by pancetta, the unsmoked Italian bacon.’
    • ‘This was especially upsetting, as I hadn't had spaghetti carbonara for ages.’
    • ‘The lightly poached egg that arrives on top of terrific, seemingly creamless spaghetti carbonara leaks its unctuous yolk over strips of pancetta, slivered endive and parsley, and slick al dente noodles.’
    • ‘Next thing we know, he has been scoffing spaghetti carbonara at an Italian eatery.’
    • ‘They only had spaghetti carbonara cooking that day, so we ate that and then drove back again.’
    • ‘The spaghetti carbonara with quail's eggs doesn't cut the mustard either, as it's missing the necessary pepper.’
    • ‘People take their time over the cafe's popular pasta carbonara, sandwiches or a slice of Chin's own cakes.’


Italian, literally ‘charcoal kiln’, perhaps influenced by carbonata, a dish of charcoal-grilled salt pork.