Ultimate spaghetti carbonara

Ultimate spaghetti carbonara

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(131 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 15 mins

Easy

Serves 4
Discover how to make the perfect Spaghetti carbonara - with a little help from Gennaro Contaldo

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal655
  • fat31g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein32g
  • salt2.02g
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Ingredients

  • 100g pancetta
    Pancetta

    Pancetta

    pan-chet-ah

    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 50g pecorino cheese
  • 50g Parmesan
    Parmesan

    Parmesan

    parm-ee-zan

    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 3 large egg
  • 350g spaghetti (De Cecco is very good)
  • 2 plump garlic clove, peeled and left whole
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Maldon salt and freshly grated black pepper

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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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freddyemme
22nd Dec, 2016
I guess for the British standards, it's a good recipe, but it's far, far away from being the original one from Italy...
fretmanfoody
21st Nov, 2016
5.05
Great easy and simple dish we love it
ChickeyH83
20th Oct, 2016
5.05
Four clean plates. So quick and easy to make. I've avoided making this before as didn't want to end up with an eggy mess but it was simple and very tasty.
KaylasCakes
19th Sep, 2016
Used smoked bacon and all Parmesan as that's what I had. Managed to whip it up and eat in a 30 minute lunch break! Delicious comfort food at its best
Minxy Ru
10th May, 2016
5.05
Goegeous. Whole family loved this including the kids. I doubled the amount of pancetta. And used only Parmesan. Lush.
snoozisuzi
18th Apr, 2016
I was so excited to make this. I prepared everything before starting to cook and followed the recipe exactly, but it turned out bland and wasn't creamy at all. I'm not impressed, so only 2 stars :(
Mmedinarios
29th Feb, 2016
My wife and I live in a little town just north of Rome where they take food very seriously, in particular the Cucina Romana. One thing we've noticed is food is subjective, it's nothing more than nostalgia and availability. Guanciale/Pancetta/bacon/Pecorino/Parmigiano it doesn't matter, just use what best that's available to you. We wrote a piece about the origins of Crabonara if you don't mind http://viamedina.kitchen/blog/2015/6/19/a-concise-history-of-carbonara
deedee7
26th Feb, 2016
5.05
I made this for dinner tonight, it was amazing everything I want in a carbonara but without being drenched in cream, it was rich and tasty. I used all parmesan and it tasted delicious may try with the pecorino and some wild mushrooms next time.
Mickros1
8th Oct, 2015
This is not a Carbonara an authentic Carbonara has no place for butter garlic or pecorino being of Italian descent and being bought up with Italian food it appauls me when these kind of recipies are called their proper name i have no problem with people putting different ingredients in foods but please dont call it Carbonara you would you put beef mince in a pie and call it pork pie ? no you wouldnt
Clementi
6th Dec, 2016
I have more of a problem with 1.tsp salt, not nearly enough for the pasta, and cooking the spaghetti for 10 minutes, far to long!!!

Pages

Sammielawson
8th Aug, 2013
How many does this recipe serve?
mindymoo62
30th Oct, 2013
It serves 4 . It is very filling so be carefully not to add too much more than stated on the recipe. Enjoy
dilbert77
27th Apr, 2015
Well, it's not very italian, but I really like to squeeze some fresh lime juice over the dish just before serving. The lime goes very well with the pancetta.
lecampbl
11th Oct, 2014
5.05
This the best carbonara I have ever had and so easy to make, I add chestnut mushrooms to it too
tillyfloss80
3rd Sep, 2014
5.05
I've found that after taking the pasta & pancetta off the heat, giving it a minute or two to cool slightly before adding the egg mixture seems to stop the eggs scrambling.
Lindane
3rd Aug, 2014
Do you use the yolks of the eggs too
tillyfloss80
3rd Sep, 2014
5.05
Yes, use 3 full eggs.
KaiShun
4th Feb, 2014
Its better if you replace the eggwhites with full cream and use only the yolks, then mix all with the cheese(prefer pecorino romano) add 1tbs Plochman's Mild Yellow mustard or other yellow mustard in the mix with loads of freshly ground black pepper. When the mix is ready just continue like the recipe does.