Quick and simple, spaghetti alla carbonara is the perfect recipe for when you want a delicious and satisfying meal in a hurry. The irresistible scent of bacon and the silken creaminess of eggs make a sophisticated pasta dish that is far removed from the English breakfast feel of the ingredients.
The traditional Roman spaghetti carbonara recipe uses unsmoked pancetta, but some Italian versions do use smoked bacon, so if you prefer the smoky flavour you don’t need to worry about lack of authenticity. What a true spaghetti carbonara recipe doesn’t use is cream, which tends to make the sauce too rich and heavy. It should be light, with the egg just clinging to the pasta, cooked only in the heat of the pasta and no hint of scrambled eggs in sight
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
- 200 gr (8 oz)guanciale (unsmoked cured hog jowl) or pancetta
- 450 gr (16 oz) spaghetti
- 3 fresh eggs
- 5 spoons Pecorino Romano, finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 knob of butter
- Cut the guanciale or pancetta into 1/3-inch dice, then cook in a skillet over moderate heat with a knob of butter, stirring, until the guanciale becomes golden brown and a little crunchy.
Add garlic, minced and remove from heat
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, whisk the eggs and grated Pecorino Romano with 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
- Drain the spaghetti in a colander, then toss with the guanciale and garlicover a moderate heat until coated. Remove from the heat and add the egg mixture, tossing well to combine. Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano and black pepper.