Ultimate spaghetti carbonara

Ultimate spaghetti carbonara

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(84 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 15 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Discover how to make the perfect Spaghetti carbonara - with a little help from Gennaro Contaldo

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
655
protein
32g
carbs
66g
fat
31g
saturates
16g
fibre
3g
sugar
0g
salt
2.02g

Ingredients

  • 100g pancetta
  • 50g pecorino cheese
  • 50g parmesan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 350g spaghetti (De Cecco is very good)
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Maldon salt and freshly grated black pepper

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Method

  1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Finely chop the pancetta, having first removed any rind. Finely grate both cheeses and mix them together. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, season with a little freshly grated black pepper and set everything aside.
  2. Add 1 tsp salt to the boiling water, add the spaghetti and when the water comes back to the boil, cook at a constant simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until al dente (just cooked).
  3. Squash the garlic with the blade of a knife, just to bruise it. While the spaghetti is cooking, fry the pancetta with the garlic. Drop the butter into a large wide frying pan or wok and, as soon as the butter has melted, tip in the pancetta and garlic. Leave these to cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden and crisp. The garlic has now imparted its flavour, so take it out with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. Keep the heat under the pancetta on low.When the pasta is ready lift it from the water with a pasta fork or tongs and put it in the frying pan with the pancetta (see left). Don’t worry if a little water drops in the pan as well (you want this to happen) and don’t throw the rest of the pasta water away yet.
  5. Mix most of the cheese in with the eggs, keeping a small handful back for sprinkling over later. Take the pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat. Now quickly pour in the eggs and cheese and, using the tongs or a long fork, lift up the spaghetti so it mixes easily with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn’t scramble, and everything is coated. Add extra pasta cooking water to keep it saucy (several tablespoons should do it). You don’t want it wet, just moist. Season with a little salt, if needed.
  6. Use a long-pronged fork to twist the pasta on to the serving plate or bowl. Serve immediately with a little sprinkling of the remaining cheese and a grating of black pepper. If the dish does get a little dry before serving, splash in some more hot pasta water and the glossy sauciness will be revived.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2002

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Comments

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tespley1's picture

Hmm, sounds like someone messed it up and is blaming the recipe!

mindymoo62's picture

I made this for dinner tonight. I used smoked bacon, trimmed and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Also added a splash of cream at the end. Really tasty and enjoyed by all.
Quite rich and filling, but very yummy. Will definitely make again.

Godin's picture

I made this for my carbonara-loving mum and dad tonight and it was the first time they'd had it without cream. They both absolutely loved it and said it was the best they'd ever tasted! Thanks Gennaro! Used 60g of parmesan for the record. The more the merrier I think. Will be cooking it again definately.

helsbelsjoe's picture

this is so quick and tasty, will definitely be making again. Used 100g Parmesan and tasted fantastic.

pcharrigan's picture
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Really good. And has no cream. 100g of parmesan is fine.

samantha.jones's picture

Easy and amazingly tasty... i'll never go back to bechamel sauce for carbonara

cmidmore's picture
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Ive tried for ages to do this like my favourite restaurant does it. Cutting out the cream is at least part of the answer, so this is progress! It was nice and moist and went down well with 3 men aged 13 and up. I used 100g parmesan and it was fine.

wikster's picture
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Bang on! Carbonara as it should be, simple, wholesome, delicious and filling. And no cream!

paullindsell76's picture
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I didn't use pecorino but just doubled the Parmesan. Perfect results and such a simple and delicious mid week dish.

carollesley's picture
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Really lovely Carbonara, followed recipe exactly. it was creamy enough, so definitely doesn't need any cream added!

dtcartner's picture
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Perfect authentic recipe, best ever tasted.

SusieQ100's picture
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Fab!

SusieQ100's picture
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Fab!

gwenno71's picture
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So easy and delicious. Have made it several times. Adapted it by using bacon lardons and replacing the pecorino with more Parmesan. Yum.

vsmphipps's picture
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easy and tastes so good.

jnduggan's picture
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AMAZING! And so quick too...always have eggs in and pasta and I used bacon. Also added some lazy garlic and an onion, would be nice with a few peas too to up the veg content! My fussy hubby and 22 month old loved it too. A firm favourite from now on!

lulu295's picture
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Best carbonara ever!

auraobie's picture
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Great recipe, very easy to make and very tasty. But extremely rich and cheesy, you don't need a large portion to feel extremely satisfied.

rkc1591's picture
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Easy enough to make, using minimal ingredients. I'm not a fan of creamy sauces like this, but it turned out nicely.

jessmhand's picture
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This is by far the best carbonara I have ever tried! I remember trying to make carbonara back at uni and ending up with a scrambled mess. This is far from that! I did add about a tablespoon of cream to the eggs, but that's because I like a bit of richness. I think this is a fail safe recipe!

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