Definition of carbonara in US English:



  • Denoting a pasta sauce typically made with cured pork, egg, and grated cheese.

    postpositive ‘spaghetti carbonara’
    attributive ‘a carbonara sauce’
    • ‘She then grabbed another pot out of the cupboard, and started to cook her carbonara sauce to accompany the pasta.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The day's specials, all priced at £5.50, included pasta carbonara, vegetable moussaka, spaghetti bolognese and Whitby seafood, all with garlic bread.’
    • ‘After that, Margaret brought our dinner, which was spaghetti carbonara.’
    • ‘By the time your pasta is cooked the carbonara sauce will be reduced so it coats the back of a wooden spoon.’
    • ‘They only had spaghetti carbonara cooking that day, so we ate that and then drove back again.’
    • ‘Or eight pieces of bacon, oozing a nice puddle of fat with which to sauce that four-person portion of spaghetti carbonara… eaten solo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her favorite foods were pasta with carbonara sauce and Captain Crunch cereal.’
    • ‘Linguine carbonara, though Italian rather than French in style, is delicious, with a distinctively creamy taste.’
    • ‘This was especially upsetting, as I hadn't had spaghetti carbonara for ages.’
    • ‘I always order spaghetti carbonara, on the ground that it is bacon and eggs, so you can almost call it breakfast.’
    • ‘In the end I went for spaghetti carbonara, a dish I'd not had for years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The spaghetti carbonara with quail's eggs doesn't cut the mustard either, as it's missing the necessary pepper.’
    • ‘The penne carbonara was as simple as the name suggests, a lightly creamy pasta with bacon, but it was fresh and delicious.’
    • ‘People take their time over the cafe's popular pasta carbonara, sandwiches or a slice of Chin's own cakes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Next thing we know, he has been scoffing spaghetti carbonara at an Italian eatery.’


Italian, perhaps feminine of dialect carbonaro ‘charcoal seller or burner’, or from the name of the Carbonara restaurant in Rome, which specializes in the dish.