Is carbonara sauce the same as lasagne white sauce? (recipe included)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is carbonara sauce the same as lasagne white sauce? We will compare the carbonara sauce and the bechamel sauce. Finally, we will leave you a simple recipe for making carbonara sauce.

Is carbonara sauce the same as lasagne white sauce?

Carbonara sauce is not the same as lasagne white sauce (the bechamel sauce). Carbonara sauce (used for pasta, especially spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is a specific type of Italian sauce, based on eggs, parmesan, bacon, and pepper. The sauce was created somewhere in the middle of the 20th century.

The carbonara recipe varies even in Italy, but everyone agrees that a type of cheese (parmesan, cheese, or even a combination), eggs, bacon, or fatter pork and pepper are the basic ingredients. Pork is fried in fat (olive oil or lard) and a combination of eggs, cheese, and butter or olive oil is combined with hot pasta, thus preparing eggs thermally. 

Then the pork is added. The cream is not used in Italian recipes, but only in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Other Anglo-French variations of carbonara include peas, broccoli, or even mushrooms. 

Bechamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is one of the basic sauces of French and international cuisine. This sauce is often used as a base for other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce, which is a bechamel with built-in cheese. Bechamel is also used as an ingredient in dishes such as lasagna, for example. 

Traditionally, Bechamel sauce is made from milk, butter, and flour and seasoned with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. The consistency of the sauce depends on the ratio of milk to the flour.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, the sauce was named after a “Marquis de Béchamel”. More precisely, Louis de Béchameil, Marquis de Nointel (1630–1703). This noble figure, the Marquis de Béchamel, held the honorary title of the head of the services of Louis XIV. 

Larousse Gastronomique also notes that bechamel sauce is an improvement on a similar one, dating back a long time, the Tuscan “salsa colla”. This Italian sauce was allegedly imported from Italy to France by Catherine de Medici.

Carbonara sauce vs Bechamel sauce: which one is healthier?

To better understand the difference between carbonara sauce and caramel sauce, let’s also compare the nutrients in both sauces: 

100 g of sauceCarbonara sauceBechamel sauce
Calories307 kcal153 kcal
Fat 29.90 g.10.30 g.
Cholesterol 97 mg.26 mg.
Sodium185 mg. 400 mg.
Carbohydrates2 g. 10.80 g.
Fiber 0 g. 0.30 g.
Sugars 2 g. 4.40 g.
Proteins 7.50 g.4.10 g.
Vitamin A 190.33 ug. 127.83 ug.
Vitamin C 0 mg.0.00 mg.
Vitamin B12 0.30 ug.0.40 ug.
Calcium 35 mg.130 mg.
Iron 0.30 mg.0.20 mg.
Vitamin B3 0.96 mg.0.96 mg.

The amount of nutrients in this table corresponds to 100 grams of carbonara sauce and the same amount of bechamel sauce. Remember that nutritional values ​​may vary depending on the type of food and the preparation. 

Cooking food can change the values ​​of its nutrients. The nutrient values ​​of the carbonara sauce and the bechamel sauce presented in this table are only indicative. 

How to prepare carbonara sauce?

The carbonara sauce that we will prepare together today is the authentic Italian recipe, although as for every traditional recipe, each chef can provide small variations. 

Pasta carbonara is a traditional recipe from the Lazio region, and in particular from Rome, and is one of the best-known pasta recipes in the world. The carbonara sauce is made with eggs, double chin bacon (guanciale in Italian), pecorino romano cheese, salt, and pepper. 

As you can see, it is a very caloric recipe, so it should be consumed in moderation. The double chin bacon can be replaced with bacon (bacon) in case you can’t find it.

The preparation of the carbonara sauce is very, very simple; However, there are some tricks and steps that must be followed to have a creamy and tasty sauce, like the one we would eat in Rome!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 320g spaghetti (can also be rigatoni)
  • 3 eggs (or 4 yolks)
  • 150 g of double chin bacon (or bacon)
  • 40 g of pecorino romano cheese
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  1. Cook the pasta  – Boil plenty of water, for this amount of pasta between 3 and 3.5 liters. We are going to wait for it to come to a boil to add the coarse salt, for this amount of water about 30 g. 

Then we add the pasta (no need to wait for the salt to dissolve). We have the fire very high so that the water can boil again immediately; We count the cooking time from when the water boils again (we respect the instructions on the al dente pasta package).

  1. Prepare the carbonara sauce – After putting the water to boil, we begin with the sauce’s preparation. We cut our bacon into strips of approx. 1 cm. Brown the bacon or bacon in a skillet over low heat for about 10 minutes. It must not burn, so the fire must be low in intensity.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs with the grated pecorino cheese. Season with a little pepper, and with a fork beat to unite everything.

While we were preparing the carbonara sauce, our pasta was already cooked.

  1. Seasoning the pasta carbonara – We turn off the fire in the pan. Strain the pasta, reserving 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Pour the pasta in the pan, over the golden bacon (off the heat), and stir to mix. 

Immediately pour the egg and cheese sauce on top, and stir immediately to prevent the egg from curdling. If the pasta is dry, add a little of the cooking water, mix and serve.

As you can see, the egg sauce is not cooked over a fire, it is cooked a little with the heat of the pasta.

If you want to learn how to make the bechamel sauce, click here. 

Final thoughts

Carbonara sauce is mainly used for pasta, especially spaghetti, and fettuccine, rigatoni, or bucatini. The white sauce in lasagna is called bechamel sauce, made from milk, butter, and flour and seasoned with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. 

In this article, we gave you the recipes for both carbonara and bechamel sauce. I hope you find them easy to make. If you have any suggestions or tips on the content, please let us know.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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