David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (2024)

by Jolina | | | 74 Comments
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Do you watch Criminal Minds? Then you’re in for a treat. This is based on David Rossi’s carbonara recipe!

(Do you love recipes based on books and movies? You will love this Treacle Tart – Harry Potter’s Favourite!)

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (1)

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How do you make traditional carbonara sauce?

Are eggs in carbonara cooked?

Secret to creamy carbonara

Easy carbonara recipe

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat)

Remember that episode where Rossi had the team over at his house and taught them how to cook carbonara (how geeky do I sound right now)?

I’ve always wanted to make that and after a significant amount of searching I found a recipe in a French fan page that they claimed was from Joe Mantegna himself (yes, I may have too much time on my hands).

I’ve since tweaked it here and there and it is fabulous! No cream, just eggs, pancetta and lotsa cheese. And guess what else? I cooked it! Not Red, me. (Ok, I may have had some help with chopping, slicing and such.)

It’s practically the only thing I can cook (insert: big proud smile right here). So let’s step into the world of BAU for a moment and bask in the deliciousness that is this carbonara.

How do you make traditional carbonara sauce?

I grew up eating creamy carbonara. And by that I mean carbonara made with cream. I only recently found out that this is very, very wrong.

Traditional carbonara has no drop of cream in it. So what makes it so creamy?

Are eggs in carbonara cooked?

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (2)

Egg yolks (and not cream) are what make traditional carbonara dreamy and creamy.

You guys know I have raw egg issues (check out my Eggless Key Lime Pie and my Eggless Tiramisu) so I can understand your hesitation.

The first few times I made this I ended up scrambling the eggs; I was so eager to pour the eggs into the hot pan and let them sit a little to cook.

What I’ve found is the residual heat from the pasta/pan will cook them so have no fear.

And you shouldn’t let the egg mixture sit at all; you need to quickly toss the pasta so the egg mixture coats everything and doesn’t turn into a scrambled mess.

Secret to creamy carbonara

Also, don’t throw away the pasta water. I did the first time – I know, rookie mistake.

What you want to do is pour about a quarter cup into your pasta, continue mixing until you get the creaminess you want (not too much though, we don’t want it soupy).

Related: Sweet and Salty Filipino-Style Spaghetti

Easy carbonara recipe

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (3)

Once you’ve done that you’ll have this amazing dish that’s so quick to prepare it’s perfect for those busy weeknights. It’s so good too it’s great for when you have company over.

Hope you give it a try, whether you’re a fan of Criminal MindsDavid Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (4) or not (this past season was weird TBH). It is awesome and hey, if I can cook it you absolutely most definitely can!

(And if you have leftover pancetta, you can make delicious pasta and peas or penne al baffo.)

Happy cooking!

Did you try David Rossi’s carbonara recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (5)

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat)

Author: Jolina

Are you a Criminal Minds fan? This is based on David Rossi’s carbonara recipe from that episode where he had the team over and gave them cooking lessons!

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr

Course Main Course

Cuisine Italian

Servings 6 people

Calories 515 kcal


  • 1 lb pasta you can use your favourite pasta: spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine or bucatini
  • ½ lb pancetta diced
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • olive oil for frying
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 4 pcs egg yolks from large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley for serving


  • Cook 1 pound pasta until al dente. While that’s cooking, in a large pan on medium heat cook ½ pound diced pancetta and 1 cup chopped onions in olive oil until pancetta is browned and onions are soft.

  • Combine your cheese then pour half of it with your 4 egg yolks. Beat lightly until combined.

  • At this point your pasta and pancetta should be ready. Drain the pasta (reserve some of the pasta water) and transfer into your pan. Remove from heat.

  • Pour your egg mixture into the pan and toss the pasta until coated. Pour about ¼ cup pasta water in your pan and continue tossing until you get the creaminess you want. If you need to put more pasta water, do so a little at a time so your pasta doesn’t get too runny.

  • Add the rest of your cheese and toss some more. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with chopped parsley.



Calories: 515kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 20gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 489mgPotassium: 297mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 125IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 1.3mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Tried this recipe? Leave a star rating today!Also tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lou

    So interesting I’ve been making a similar pasta dish only using whole eggs along with cheese bacon and black pepper. My son hated red sauce and I remembered a friend made this for us back in the early ‘70s. I rarely make red sauce ever since. It’s been our spaghetti go to since 1980.


    • Jolina

      Hi Lou! My mom would make something similar too but she never called it carbonara, just white spaghetti lol.


  2. MBernadine Hamilton

    3 questions, can I use just parmesan, cani substitute using mostarilla instead of Romano, can I use the whole egg


    • Jolina

      Hi there. Yes, you can use all parmesan cheese instead of half parmesan, half pecorino romano. I have never used mozzarella and always just use egg yolks though, so I can’t say how those changes will affect the recipe.


      • Holly

        How is there no garlic!? are you gunna hunt me down like an unsub if I add some? Or really is Rossi gunna hunt you for not adding it to begin with!? lol , this looks freaking amazing and something I could actually pull off thank you for going through all the work to create it


        • Jolina

          Haha! No I don’t think either of us will get in trouble 🙂 Other carbonara recipes I’ve seen have no garlic either but if you like it, by all means make the recipe as awesome as you like.


  3. Alana Talley

    Hey if I were to add peas to this how much would I add


    • Jolina

      Hi! Haven’t tried it with peas so I don’t know. Maybe others have so hopefully you’ll get some feedback here.


  4. Kelly Bergeson

    This looks yummy. I’m just wondering if you can make this a crockpot recipe. I need something that will last a few days. If you can, how would it be done.


    • Jolina

      Hi Kelly! I haven’t tried this in a crockpot so I can’t say for sure. I’m posting your question maybe other readers have tried and can give you insight.


  5. Didi

    David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (10)
    I’m a big fan of criminal minds too and I know exactly the episode where they made this carbonara. While I’m not sure what that tasted like, this is DELICIOUS. And it’s nice to pretend david rossie was the one who made it for me!!! It’s one of my favorite weeknight meals. Thank you Jolina.


    • Jolina

      Hello fellow fan! 🙂 You’re most welcome, happy to hear you liked it.


  6. Imgoog

    Thank you for sharing the recipe! Gonna try it soon.



    Carbonara is one of our favorite weeknight meals. I’ve always made it with bacon, but using pancetta is a great idea! Looking forward to trying it out.


    • Jolina

      Hi Megan! Pancetta is so flavourful, we didn’t even need to add any salt. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


  8. Jenny

    In our house, carbanora is the responsibility of my better half! I will pass this recipe on to him.. it looks delicious. Pure comfort food!


  9. Julia

    I used to watch Criminal Minds but then it got a little too twisted and violent for me and I stopped a few years ago. This pasta looks really good!


    • Jolina

      I guess it’s not for everyone 🙂 I guess I’ve always secretly wanted to be a spy or an agent LOL. The carbonara is awesome though! Hope you try it!


  10. Elizabeth

    I love Carbonara and this looks like a great straight-forward recipe. Can’t wait to try it!


  11. Supriya Kutty

    This looks like a delicious carbonara recipe to try! I will make this weekend for dinner one night. Sounds and looks yummy!


  12. Marielle Altenor

    Oh yum! I’m only made carbonara once and that was years ago. I need to make this recipe! Looks soo delicious.


  13. Robin

    Simple and easy to make definitely another winner. The pancetta and cheese makes it so flavourful. I can’t wait to make this. Btw, good luck on your next cooking adventure:)


    • Jolina

      Aw thanks Robin! You certainly can’t go wrong with cheese and pancetta eh? 🙂 Hope you’re having a fabulous week!


  14. Tami

    I don’t think I’ve ever eaten pancetta. I will definitely be making this dish this week for my family.


    • Jolina

      Hi Tami! Pancetta is the Italian version of bacon and like bacon, it makes everything better! 🙂 Hope you guys like it.


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David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat) (2024)


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