Classic Carbonara | Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
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.
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:
120g spaghetti or rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano is an acceptable substitute)
1 cup chopped guanciale (Pork jowl. If not available in your area, use pancetta. Thick cut bacon in an emergency)
In a medium mixing bowl, add one whole egg, one egg yolk and the pecorino cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and lightly whisk.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it liberally. As we say in Italy, the pasta water should taste like the sea! Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
While the pasta cooks, add the guanciale or pancetta into a pan heated to medium/high. No oil is necessary, as the pork already contains plenty of fat. Fry until the meat browns and begins to become crispy, then turn off the heat.
As soon as the pasta is finished, transfer it into the guanciale pan with a pair of tongs. Mix the pork and pasta over heat, then transfer all into the egg bowl. Stir vigorously.
Serve immediately. Top with lots of fresh black pepper and some extra grated cheese on top.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe: