Smoked Mozzarella Carbonara

While online recently, I’ve come across the name Justin Chapple multiple times. When I checked on Amazon, this young chef has already published two cookbooks – Mad Genius Tips, in 2016, and Just Cook it, in 2018.

Chapple is a senior editor at Food & Wine, and obviously quite accomplished… in spite of the fact that he looks 16.

A recipe I spotted online on Food & Wine is the chef’s Smoked Gouda Carbonara. It’s not out of disrespect that I substituted the gouda with smoked mozzarella, it’s just that I often crave smoked mozzarella, and had just received some from Murray’s Cheese.

The recipe is otherwise the same!

Smoked Mozzarella Carbonara

1 pound spaghetti
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
6 ounces grated smoked mozzarella
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces slab bacon, finely diced
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Finely grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg, the 1 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Very gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to temper the eggs.

Meanwhile, in the large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until rendered but not crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pasta, crushed red pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. I didn’t get a photo of the egg and cheese mixture going into the pasta because I needed to do it quickly.

Cook, tossing, until the pasta is coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir vigorously until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; add more cooking water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. It took some stirring to completely melt the smoked mozzarella.

Divide the pasta into bowls and serve, passing grated Parmesan at the table.

I served more cayenne pepper flakes as well.

And, not surprisingly to you, I loved this carbonara!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. BERNADETTE April 5, 2022 at 6:29 AM - Reply

    I have Mad Genius Tips and refer too it often. He is a fun and very smart cookbook author. The carbonara looks amazing. As soon as I get back on my feet, I will bring the wine to dinner🤣

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 7:35 AM - Reply

      Uh oh. Did I miss what happened? Get back on your feet!!! I prefer whites.

      • BERNADETTE April 5, 2022 at 9:02 AM

        I had a hip replacement last week. Doing good but still walking like Walter Brennan. White it is!

      • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 11:51 AM

        Oh goodness! Stick with the physical therapy and you’ll be great!

  2. David Scott Allen April 5, 2022 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    I didn’t really know him, as I stopped all magazine subscriptions years ago. Why get magazines when I have friends like you? Seriously, though, even though I am a stickler for authenticity in Italian cuisine, I want to make this and eat the whole bowl.

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      I completely understand. I just started watching The Julia Child Challenge, and you should definitely be on it!!!

  3. Molly Pisula April 5, 2022 at 7:59 AM - Reply

    Oooh, this looks decadent and delicious! Love the idea of a smoked cheese in a carbonara. I bet it was lovely with the smoked mozzarella.

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 11:52 AM - Reply

      It was so good. I first had smoked mozzarella on a pizza and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

  4. terrie gura April 5, 2022 at 8:50 AM - Reply

    You’re right, he does look 16! It’s funny that his name kept crossing your path online; you were meant to find and enjoy this recipe! It looks great and you made it seem easy.

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 11:53 AM - Reply

      Oh, it’s easy! You just can’t be beating hot liquid into eggs and take photos!!!

  5. Thao @ In Good Flavor April 5, 2022 at 1:27 PM - Reply

    This carbonara looks amazing!! I can eat it every week and not get tired of it!

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 2:46 PM - Reply

      I know exactly how you feel!!!

  6. April 5, 2022 at 4:39 PM - Reply

    First of all I love your new site – I haven’t done anything with mine in ages. I’m not very tech savy so I just should hire someone. Love pasta and smoked mozarella. Justin not only looks 16 but he looks like he would be a lot of fun to cook with :)

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 4:42 PM - Reply

      Yes, he’s pretty adorable! Well I learned the hard way that wordpress doesn’t update themes, so I slowly lost control over everything – like even fonts. I don’t reel like it’s “me” yet, but it’s done!

  7. Hannah Kaminsky April 5, 2022 at 6:26 PM - Reply

    Oh my, that is positively luscious! I can’t resist smoky flavors so I love the idea of this. Miyoko’s Creamery even makes a vegan smoked mozz; I bet it would be to die for in this recipe!

    • Chef Mimi April 5, 2022 at 6:42 PM - Reply

      Ohhhhhh. I haven’t tried non-dairy cheeses in years. I would bet they have gotten better!

  8. Sherry M April 6, 2022 at 2:00 AM - Reply

    i’ve never heard of this chap and yes indeed he does look about 12! Mm smoked mozzarella? Interesting …

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 7:08 AM - Reply

      It is so good. I first had it on a pizza, and now crave it!

  9. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 6, 2022 at 3:01 AM - Reply

    I love the idea of using smoked mozz for this! What a great idea :D

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 7:09 AM - Reply

      I honestly think it’s better than smoked Gouda for this recipe, but I’m such a fan!

  10. Ben | Havocinthekitchen April 6, 2022 at 6:08 AM - Reply

    I love using smoked cheeses in my cooking, they really add something extra special to the flavour profile. And this pasta looks utterly delicious and inviting!

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 7:09 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Ben. I first had smoked mozzarella on a “white” pizza and have been hooked ever since. It’s just so good.

  11. David @ Spiced April 6, 2022 at 6:31 AM - Reply

    Oh my goodness, Mimi – this dish is absolutely calling my name! I love carbonara, and the addition of smoked mozz here takes this one to a whole new level. I’m putting this on the list of things to make!! (Also, that chef does indeed look like he’s 16…haha.)

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 7:10 AM - Reply

      Yes, maybe 15… You’ll love this. And it’s great cheese if you can find it. I have to order it of course!

  12. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen April 6, 2022 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    It’s amazing how one little twist, such as using a smoked cheese, can radically transform a dish!
    I want to eat the whole bowl Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 3:45 PM - Reply

      I don’t enjoy overly smoky things, but smoked mozzarella is quite incredible.

  13. kitchenriffs April 6, 2022 at 9:51 AM - Reply

    Like the new blog design! And like this dish, a lot. Smoked mozzarella is such good stuff. If I had some, I’d substitute that, too. Thanks!

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 3:44 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Smoked mozzarella is incredible, and it sure worked well in this dish.

  14. lulu April 6, 2022 at 3:11 PM - Reply

    Love pasta and this is a good one.

    • Chef Mimi April 6, 2022 at 3:45 PM - Reply

      Thank you Lulu!

  15. Savor the Best April 6, 2022 at 6:57 PM - Reply

    Oh this is comfort food to the max. Smoked mozzarella sounds great with this recipe.

    • Chef Mimi April 7, 2022 at 9:32 AM - Reply

      I’m so addicted to it!

  16. Ann Coleman April 6, 2022 at 8:29 PM - Reply

    Yum! That is one of my favorite Italian dishes!

    • Chef Mimi April 7, 2022 at 9:32 AM - Reply

      For good reason. And it’s so easy to whip up!

  17. Jean April 7, 2022 at 9:13 AM - Reply

    Oh my gosh, way to make me drool first thing in the morning. I love smoked mozzarella and have been meaning to post a salad recipe with it but using it in carbonara is brilliant. I will make this. Just when I didn’t think carbonara could get better. Your recipes are always so inspired.

    • Chef Mimi April 7, 2022 at 9:33 AM - Reply

      Aww thanks! I just made a carbonara with nduja. Now that was good too!

  18. For the Love of Cooking April 7, 2022 at 12:15 PM - Reply

    My kind of comfort food. Yum!

    • Chef Mimi April 7, 2022 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      I agree!

  19. Raymund April 7, 2022 at 3:51 PM - Reply

    Ohh, I love smoked cheeses but never tried or even had seen a smoked mozarella, sounds really interesting, definitely will be in the look out for that.

    • Chef Mimi April 7, 2022 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      Yes, you must. It’s amazing!

  20. thatskinnychickcanbake April 8, 2022 at 7:18 AM - Reply

    It’s been ages since I’ve made carbonara, but your reminder has me craving it! Smoked cheese is such a terrific way to boost the flavor!

    • Chef Mimi April 8, 2022 at 8:08 AM - Reply

      Yes indeed! It turned out so well.

  21. Eva Taylor April 9, 2022 at 5:49 AM - Reply

    Carbonara has recently become our goto pasta recipe, so easy and delicious. I’ve not thought of subbing the cheese, great idea. Now to find some smoked mozzarella!

    • Chef Mimi April 9, 2022 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      I hope you find some – it’s magical!

  22. Jeff the Chef April 10, 2022 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    Love the new blog look! Thank you for pointing out some interesting cookbooks. I’m always up for that. And thanks also for sharing this recipe! I bet it’s intensely flavorful!

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2022 at 12:24 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Smoked mozzarella makes everything taste better!

  23. Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 11, 2022 at 3:38 AM - Reply

    I have not seen smoked mozzarella that often here, but I have tried it when we were in Sicily. i recently saw a recipe for carbonara for breakfast and now yours today. Seems like a hint of what I should be making. PS, I love the new theme! Which one are you using? I feel like a change for my blog as well :)

    • Chef Mimi April 11, 2022 at 6:59 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It’s professionally done. It’s not a WP theme. I went through 2 of them and slowly lost control. Turns out they don’t help, don’t update anything, don’t care, so I finally quit fighting. I’m being hosted by a private company as well, because he makes sure things keep running smoothly.
      Wish I’d done this years ago.

  24. Carrie Tyler April 11, 2022 at 9:52 AM - Reply

    This looks amazing! I love the smoked mozzarella variation! Talk about creamy pasta goodness!

  25. Sippitysup April 15, 2022 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    Wow. I leave the country and you change everything. Seriously nice looking refresh on your site. Of course carbonara is another beauty. Even more so with smoked mozzarella. GREG

    • Chef Mimi April 15, 2022 at 10:00 AM - Reply

      Thank you! WordPress wasn’t supporting either of my themes I’d previously used so I gave up and went with a professional!

  26. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 16, 2022 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    I like your version of the usual carbonara. I’ll be on a search for the smoked mozzarella.

    • Chef Mimi April 17, 2022 at 12:29 PM - Reply

      I hope you find it! It’s wonderful

  27. […] out Chef Mimi’s gorgeous Smoked Mozzarella Carbonara, I love a smoked […]

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