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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

"The Secret to Perfecting Carbonara Pasta: A Classic Recipe"

Dish name: Carbonara Pasta

  • Cuisine: Italian

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes

  • Yield: Serves 4

  • Expiration: Best consumed immediately.

  • Ingredients:

  • 400 grams of spaghetti or other long pasta

  • 150 grams of pancetta or guanciale, cut into small cubes

  • 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Optional: Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

  2. In a pan, cook the pancetta or guanciale until crisp. Then, remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yolk, grated cheese, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Once the pasta is done, reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.

  5. Quickly add the hot pasta to the pancetta or guanciale, and mix well to coat the pasta in the fat.

  6. Remove the pan from the stove and quickly pour in the egg mixture, stirring vigorously to combine and create a creamy sauce.

  7. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water until it reaches the desired consistency.

  8. Serve immediately with extra cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper on top.

Tips and Tricks for Carbonara Pasta:

  1. Pasta Water: Keep the pasta water; its starchiness helps in creating a silky sauce.

  2. Eggs at Room Temperature: Use room-temperature eggs to prevent them from cooking too quickly and forming curds when added to the hot pasta.

  3. Mixing the Eggs: Add the egg and cheese mixture away from direct heat to prevent scrambling and achieve a creamy sauce.

  4. Freshly Ground Pepper: Use freshly ground black pepper to get the best flavor.

  5. Pancetta vs. Guanciale: Traditional carbonara uses guanciale, which has a unique taste, but pancetta is a good substitute.

  6. Cheese Quality: Use good quality, freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan for the best flavor.

  7. Speed is Key: Carbonara waits for no one! Have all your ingredients ready to go and work quickly to combine everything while the pasta is hot.

  8. No Cream: Traditional carbonara does not include cream; the creamy texture comes from the egg and cheese emulsion.

  9. Cook Pancetta/Guanciale Slowly: Render the fat slowly for a rich, intense flavor without burning the meat.

  10. Avoid Garlic: While some recipes add garlic, traditional Roman carbonara does not include it. Stick to the basics for an authentic taste.

carbonara pasta

Follow these steps and tips to create a creamy, indulgent plate of Carbonara that stays true to its Roman roots. Enjoy your meal!

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