How to make an authentic Carbonara recipe – Roman Classic

Authentic Carbonara Recipe – “Spaghetti alla Carbonara”

authentic carbonara recipe
authentic carbonara recipe
















Ciao a tutti,

if you have never been to Italy, or if you have been to Italy and you miss eating an authentic Carbonara this is the recipe for you! In American restaurants carbonara often has cream, peas and other weird stuff. Italian cooking is all about simplicity and execution. The fewer ingredients the better. Romans will sit around and argue about how to make a Carbonara (in fact, I hope this post will generate some arguments). It’s all about timing and little tricks.

Here is our recipe for authentic spaghetti alla carbonara:


1) Spaghetti (De Cecco)
2)  Guanciale ( or Pancetta – Guanciale is fattier and comes from the cheek)
3) 1 egg per person (free range)
4) pecorino romano (make sure this is authentic DOP or made in Italy)
5) Parmigiano Reggiano (also make sure this is the real deal – see photo)
6) Olive oil
7) salt
8) pepper

parmigiano reggiano
It’s not real Parmigiano Reggiano unless it has the writing on the rind

Step 1:

cut your Guanciale into long thick strips. Put the strips in a nice thick pan on medium heat. You want the fat to render (become clear) and crispy. I find that removing the cooked guanciale once it is done and moving it onto some paper towels helps a lot with the crispyness (this is kind of an American move). Make sure to leave the oil in pan.

You can get a nice big pot of water boiling in the mean time.

In a bowl crack one egg per person

grate 50% parmigiano regiano, and 50% pecorino romano and add it to the eggs. Save a little cheese mixture for plating. Add some salt and pepper too (you can go easy on the salt because the pecorino is quite salty). Mix this up and add cheese as necessary to make it a good consistency (you want it to be wet and thick).

Add enough salt to the boiling water to make the pasta take on a salty flavor. Add your pasta following the portion recommendations on the box (if you are making more pasta then you may need more eggs).

Cook the pasta stirring often following the directions on the box. If you want to be really authentic drain the spaghetti even a minute earlier than the recommended “al dente” suggestion.

Here is the cool part:

Do not rinse the pasta in cold water! In a large bowl mix the hot pasta with the egg mixture, the guanciale and the oil from the guanciale. Plate the carbonara and add a little more parmigiano/pecorino on top. The heat from the pasta soft boils the egg turning it into a creamy sauce.

La pasta è pronta!

Want to make this recipe more authentic? Let us know in the comments below.

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