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David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe (Copycat)

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

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

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.

How to make 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

David Rossi’s carbonara recipe

David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe

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 Minds or not (this past season was weird TBH). It is awesome and hey, if I can cook it you absolutely most definitely can!

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David Rossi’s Carbonara Recipe

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!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 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 1/2 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 1/4 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.

Keyword Authentic, Easy, TV Recipe
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I'd love to see your creations!

Happy cooking!

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Rate the Recipe

MBernadine Hamilton

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

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


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

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.

Alana Talley

Friday 1st of May 2020

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


Thursday 7th of May 2020

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

Kelly Bergeson

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

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.


Wednesday 8th of April 2020

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.


Thursday 17th of October 2019

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.


Thursday 17th of October 2019

Hello fellow fan! :) You're most welcome, happy to hear you liked it.

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