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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Sweet Onion Carbonara

This creamy, dreamy carbonara gets its sweetness from sauteed onions, and the combo of gruyere and Parmesan gives it some serious cheesy decadence.

Sweet Onion Carbonara



Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Sweet Onion Carbonara


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (chopped)
  • 1 large (or 2 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded gruyere
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 pound pasta, such as Mezze Millerighe
  • Lots of fresh coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


  1. As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 4. Dino's Pasta Factory.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan and cool. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk the cream, remaining salt, parmesan, the gruyere, lemon zest and eggs to blend.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta back to the pan along with the onions, cream mixture, 1/4 cup pasta water and pancetta. Toss over low heat until the sauce coats the pasta thickly adding pasta water as needed, about 2 minutes (do not boil). Season the pasta to taste with pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large wide serving bowl. Sprinkle with chives and serve.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
54 grams
79 grams
88 grams
Saturated Fat
12 grams
199 milligrams
947 milligrams
11 grams
14 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Tanya Doucette

    Suggestion for replacing the whipping cream with something else? I’m lactose intolerant and that would not work for me, the cheese I can manage around. Thanks!

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