Spaghetti alla Carbonara

How to Make 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. Moreover, my original recipe has become very popular across the globe as we try to set the record straight: NO CREAM! This is my 2021 version.

Lastly, try my version of this authentic Roman dish; I’m already hungry just thinking about it!

Watch the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara video recipe:

How to make Spaghetti alla Carbonara

spaghetti carbonara

 

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Another alternative!

Firstly, 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. Furthermore, try prawns or zucchini as they will work in this recipe.

You can skip it

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.

EXTRA Tip

Use the extra egg whites to make my mother-in-law’s delicious amaretti biscotti-yum!

how to make carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Vincenzo's Plate
4 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • knife small
  • Cutting board
  • Pot (for boiling spaghetti) Large. for boiling spaghetti
  • pan
  • wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl Large
  • Mixing bowls Small
  • Whisk
  • Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams Spaghetti quadrati 10.5oz
  • 200 grams Pecorino Romano cheese 7oz
  • 300 grams Guanciale 10.5oz
  • 4 eggs 3 egg yolks + 1 entire egg
  • Black pepper

Instructions
 

  • 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!)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Keyword Creamy, delicious pasta, easy pasta recipe, Family Favourite
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Spaghetti alla Carbonara

It’s time to serve this mouthwatering dish. Use your tongs to add as much 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.

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21 Responses to Spaghetti alla Carbonara

  1. Lenny Fox Lenny Fox August 29, 2022 at 5:47 AM #

    Love it with bacon and garlic and cork screw pasts as the pasta holds the sauce better.

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 6:47 PM #

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe with bacon and garlic! The cork screw pasta is a great choice to hold the sauce better.

  2. Michael Henry October 11, 2022 at 9:22 AM #

    Vincenzo, just made this for dinner (tho I used shrimp) and followed to the letter. O MAN!!! Did it come out great! Will most def make this again,,,

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:32 AM #

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! Don’t hesitate to try it with other seafood or even chicken in the future. Bon appétit!

  3. Sabrina October 18, 2022 at 4:26 AM #

    2 stars
    Just tried the recipe and with the pecorino and guanciale it was way too salty. Does it get less salty with using parmiggiano?
    Otherwise it was very creamy, great texture

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:12 AM #

      Yes, if you find the combination of pecorino and guanciale too salty, you can try using Parmigiano instead of pecorino, or use a mix of both to balance out the saltiness.

  4. MMIkwe McDonald October 25, 2022 at 4:31 AM #

    Hi Vincenzo.

    I am trying desperately to find guanciale to make this dish for my wife’s birthday. I am not having much luck yet. I may have to go with pancetta. Is there anything you would add to this to this dish because you had to substitute pancetta for guanciale? I will be sure to take some pictures and let you know how everyone likes it.

    Mike

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:06 AM #

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having difficulty finding guanciale for the dish. Pancetta is a great substitute for guanciale and will still give you a delicious flavor. You can also try using bacon or prosciutto in a pinch. Just make sure to use a high-quality pancetta and cook it until it’s crispy before adding it to the dish.

  5. Myriam November 26, 2022 at 12:00 AM #

    5 stars
    Delicious ! I Follow your recipes from France. I didn’t find the guanciale so I replaced it with smoked pork belly. I used a strong Tellichery’s pepper and it taste amazing and super creamy

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 27, 2023 at 1:59 AM #

      I’m so happy to hear that you found my recipe delicious, and that it turned out well even with the substitution of smoked pork belly for guanciale! It’s always great to hear about successful adaptations and modifications to recipes, especially when ingredients may not be readily available.

  6. RobRob January 31, 2023 at 9:36 AM #

    5 stars
    Buono! So so easy, who would have thought! Better than most restauarants

  7. Attila March 4, 2023 at 7:43 AM #

    This is the best carbonara recipe i ever tried.
    Grazie Vincenzo. Ricetta perfetta.

  8. Franco Vivacqua March 9, 2023 at 5:10 PM #

    I have to make this for 45 people. How do you suggest I regulate the ingredients should I make it 300 grams of pasta at a time ?

  9. RicktheRecorder April 10, 2023 at 3:18 PM #

    But how nany people is this wondrful recipe intended to serve!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 20, 2023 at 12:10 AM #

      This Carbonara can serve to about 2-3 persons depending on the appetite. If you’re planning to make this for a large group of people, you can increase the portion sizes of the ingredients.

  10. Mike May 26, 2023 at 12:34 AM #

    2 stars
    I made this and was way too salty. Are the amounts in the recipe correct? Equal parts spaghetti and giuncali (I could not find so used pancetta), and 2/3 that amount of pecorino?

    • Vincenzo's Plate June 10, 2023 at 4:12 AM #

      To adjust the saltiness in the future, you can try reducing the amount of pancetta or using a milder variety. Additionally, you can adjust the amount of pecorino cheese to your liking. If you find it too salty, you can reduce the quantity or even mix it with some grated Parmesan cheese, which has a milder flavor.

  11. Sharon January 23, 2024 at 8:50 AM #

    5 stars
    Vincenzo, I love your recipes and try many of them. I live in Mexico and getting guanciale is imposible from where I am. I don’t want to use bacon because of the smoked flavour. However, I was recently watching a Julia Childs show, and she talked about using bacon in a recipe but to take out the smoky flavour to the following. Cut it into lardons, place in boiling water for 10 minutes then dry on paper towel. Once dried, fry as you would your guanciale. It seemed to work.

    Thank you so much for your passion and wonderful authentic recipes.

    Sharon
    Canadian living in Mexico.

    • Vincenzo's Plate January 29, 2024 at 6:52 PM #

      Thanks, Sharon! I appreciate your support and the clever tip. Happy cooking in Mexico!

  12. CCCcosteld April 4, 2024 at 4:23 AM #

    5 stars
    VERRY GOOD !!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 4, 2024 at 10:06 AM #

      I’m super glad you love this recipe. I hope you’ll give this a try!

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