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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

The Original Carbonara Recipe

This is the very first carbonara recipe ever documented. It was written down by an American food critic who learned it from two Italian immigrants in Chicago. It differs in seemingly minor but effectively major ways from the accepted recipe of today, namely in the use of fresh pasta, the selection of cheeses and meat, and the method of cooking the eggs.

The Original Carbonara Recipe

If you haven't tried a modern carbonara, we highly recommend you do so first as this recipe is a far cry from the masterpiece we know today. That being said, the historically curious might be interested in trying out this primogenitor of the beloved classic.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Serves 2.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 2 oz. (55g) chopped pancetta

- 2 eggs

- 1/2 cup (55g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

- Salt

- 2 servings fresh taglierini pasta (follow our fresh pasta recipe here, but cut the pasta a little thinner than tagliatelle)

Put a large pot of water on the boil. While it comes up to temperature, begin preparing the sauce.

Add the olive oil and pancetta into a skillet over medium heat. Sauté until the pancetta is lightly browned. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon into a clean skillet (or drain the fat well and use the same pan).

Meanwhile, combine the eggs and cheese in a bowl and whisk together.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously and add the fresh pasta. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until "al dente" to your taste. Use tongs to transfer the pasta into the pan with the pancetta.

Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir all together over medium heat until the eggs have thickened and cooked. Serve immediately. Buon appetito!

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Paul Nicosia
Paul Nicosia
Jan 22

I made it but with spaghetti. Tastes so good! I felt like I was back in Rome!


Sep 13, 2021

I made this for lunch today and it came out absolutely perfect. I thought I recalled that on the video you used one whole egg and one egg yolk, that’s what I did. The flavor and consistency was perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this. This recipe will be a definite go to for our home.

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