Classic Carbonara | Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Carbonara is a Roman specialty, yet it transcends the regionality of many Italian dishes. From north to south, Italians can agree on one thing: the ingredients in a carbonara. Where they sometimes disagree is on what shape of pasta works best. To keep things classic and authentic, we recommend using either rigatoni or spaghetti.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
A note on raw eggs: the pasta is mixed directly into raw egg yolks, but the heat of the pasta pasteurizes them. If the use of raw eggs still makes you uncomfortable, we recommend seeking out farm fresh eggs, if possible.
For this recipe, you will need:
5.5 oz. (160g) spaghetti or rigatoni pasta
2 oz. (55g) guanciale (cured pork jowl; if not available in your area, use pancetta)
1/2 cup (55g) grated pecorino or Parmigiano cheese
Fresh black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it lightly (the guanciale and pecorino are quite salty so in this case use about half the salt you would normally add). Add the pasta and cook as directed by the package.
If using guanciale, trim off the tough outer skin. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large skillet over medium heat. If using pancetta, add a pinch of salt and pepper into the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until deeply browned and crispy. Turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, separate the eggs and add the yolks into a large mixing bowl. If you prefer a slightly thinner sauce, feel free to add the white of one of the eggs as well. Into the bowl, add the pecorino cheese and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Whisk the eggs and cheese together until thoroughly mixed.
When the pasta is al dente to your taste, drain it and add it into the egg mixture. Stir vigorously until the egg yolks completely coat the pasta, then add the guanciale and the fat in the skillet into the bowl. Stir again to evenly mix the sauce.
Serve immediately. Top with extra black pepper (optional). Buon appetito!