- Cook Time
- Difficulty Level Intermediate
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti alla carbonara is a traditional Italian recipe and every time you make this dish, it gets better and better. Crispy, tender in the middle, guanciale is mixed with spaghetti and a homemade peppery, pecorino-filled carbonara sauce. My original recipe has become very popular across the globe as we try to set the record straight: NO CREAM! This spaghetti alla carbonara is my 2021 version.
Try my version of this authentic Roman dish; I’m already hungry just thinking about it!
300g/10.5oz spaghetti quadrati
200g/7oz pecorino Romano cheese
4 eggs (3 egg yolks + 1 entire egg)
1 large pot (for boiling spaghetti)
1 large pan
1 large mixing bowl
2 small mixing bowls
- Start by removing the skin of the guanciale – not the fat, just the skin. (I really hope you can find the guanciale because it makes the dish sing!)
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: I get so many requests about being able to recreate this dish for vegetarians – for me, it won’t be a carbonara any more, but if you follow the same principles of how to cook the egg you will end up with a nice variation according to your dietary requirement. Try prawns or zucchini as they will work in this spaghetti alla carbonara.
- While you are cutting the pork, bring 5L of water to a boil. No need for salt in this recipe! The pecorino cheese is salty enough.
- Cut the guanciale into large strips then smaller ones all with fat on each side and delicious meat in the middle. When it cooks, it will be crispy on the outside and nice and tender on the inside.
- Add the pasta into the boiling water (NOTE: No salt!) and lightly push it down for the first 30 seconds to cook the pasta evenly.
- Next, put your guanciale into a large pan on medium-low heat, continuously stirring, so it doesn’t burn.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: No need to oil the pan because the guanciale releases oil as it cooks making deliciously crispy bites. You can skip extra seasoning, too, because the pork is already so flavorful.
- It’s time to make the sauce, so grab your eggs and get cracking! Make sure to separate the egg whites and yolks from 3 eggs – keeping the yolks in the large mixing bowl.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: Use the extra egg whites to make my mother-in-law’s delicious amaretti biscotti-yum!
- Whisk your eggs until they are mixed and light. Once you have done this, don’t forget to collect a mug of pasta water for extra creamy spaghetti alla carbonara.
- Only add ½ of the pecorino cheese into the eggs with a splash of reserved pasta water, then mix. Once the cheese mixture is combined, add in the rest of the pecorino, and continue whisking until you get the perfect, thick carbonara sauce.
- Take half of the crispy guanciale out of the pan and set it aside.
- Using a set of tongs, transfer your al dente pasta from the pot right into the pan with guanciale. It’s okay if some water comes with it; it will help make the sauce creamier later.
- Stir, stir, stir! Then add a splash of pasta water; this helps make sure the egg does not cook into scrambled eggs. Continue stirring for a few minutes.
- Remove the pan from medium heat and add your carbonara mixture to the hot pasta with another splash of pasta water. Continue stirring until you get a super creamy spaghetti carbonara.
- You don’t want to miss out on any of this sauce – add your pasta back into the large mixing bowl and stir until all the egg mixture is covering the pasta. MM-MM!
- Add a large amount of black pepper onto the spaghetti alla carbonara, stir, then add even more and stir again.
- The finally and most important step is tossing the spaghetti in the large bowl; this helps make it even creamier.
How To Serve:
It’s time to serve this mouthwatering dish. Use your tongs to add as much spaghetti alla carbonara to the plate as you want, twisting it into a perfect pile of pasta. Add a generous handful of crispy guanciale as a garnish on top of the spaghetti. Pour some of the extra sauce onto the pasta and add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Here are 2 more Roman Recipes you must try:
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