This is a proper Spaghetti Carbonara recipe, the authentic way Italian home cooks and restaurant chefs make Spaghetti alla Carbonara. This Roman Pasta Carbonara is rich, creamy, with every strand coated in cheese and eggs. So delicious!
Spaghetti Carbonara is one of the most popular Italian pasta recipes and I’m going to teach you a proper recipe of making this easy and delicious pasta.
The pasta is utterly rich with olive oil, creamy, eggy, yet light and delightful. This pasta is called Spaghetti alla Carbonara Roma in Italian.
SPAGHETTI CARBONARA INGREDIENTS
To make a proper and authentic Carbonara, you need the following:
- Spaghetti pasta
- Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese in a block, freshly grated
- Guanciale (the cheek of the pork) or pancetta (Italian bacon) preferred. Bacon if you can’t find either of them
- Olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
HOW TO MAKE SPAGHETTI CARBONARA
The method involves five (5) steps:
- Cook the spaghetti per the package instructions until al dente.
- Make the egg and cheese mixture.
- Cook the guanciale, pancetta or bacon until crispy.
- Add the spaghetti to the above.
- Mix the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta.
COOKING TIPS FOR THE BEST HOMEMADE CARBONARA
Many people cook this pasta dish completely wrong. I summarized the following tips below:
- Cook the pasta until al dente. In Italy, the texture of al dente is completely different from American al dente; the pasta has a real “hard” bite to it.
- Don’t be afraid of fat from the bacon, Do not discard it after cooking the bacon. It’s culinary gold!
- The biggest mistake that most people commit when making Carbonara is that the eggs are completely “cooked” in hot pasta.
- The last step of the cooking process is very important: before you add the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta, let cool a little bit at room temperature, about 1 minute. You want the egg mixture to coat every strand of the pasta. You don’t want scrambled eggs Carbonara.
- For those who are concerned about raw eggs, the warm pasta should somewhat cook the eggs, so they are not completely raw.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GUANCIALE, PANCETTA AND BACON
If you can find guanciale (the jowl and cheek of pork meat), please use it by all means. FDA has banned all imports of guanciale from Europe. However, you can still find it from stores such as Whole Foods Market.
Pancetta is Italian bacon and comes from the belly of the pig. It’s very similar to bacon but fattier with different cuts.
Bacon is iconic to Americans. It’s cured, sometimes smoked and can come from either the back of the pig or the belly.
Read all about Guanciale vs. Pancetta vs. Bacon here.
For a truly authentic and proper Pasta Carbonara, please use Guanciale just like the Italians.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- One Pan Pasta
- Pork Chops
- Honey Garlic Salmon in Foil
- Creamy Garlic Butter Chicken
- Chinese Chicken and Shrimp Chow Mein
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- 2 oz. freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (preferred) or Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 strips guanciale, pancetta, or thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Cook the pasta per the package instructions until al dente.
In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then combine the eggs with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and ground black pepper together. Stir to mix well.
Cut the bacon into big pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and fry the bacon until crispy.
When the spaghetti is ready, drain and add the spaghetti to the skillet with the bacon. Stir to mix well.
Remove the skillet from heat. Allow to cool slightly, about 1 minute. Add the egg and cheese mixture. Stir to coat the spaghetti. Top the Spaghetti Carbonara with the chopped parsley.
Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving, if you like.
Adapted from Antonio Carluccio.
Guanciale is comes from the cheek of a pig. It is traditionally used in authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara but very hard to find in the United States. The best substitute is Italian bacon or pancetta, or thick cut bacon.
Amount Per Serving Calories 612 Total Fat 48g Saturated Fat 17g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 29g Cholesterol 186mg Sodium 2164mg Carbohydrates 25g Fiber 1g Sugar 2g Protein 19g