Close up of perfect spaghetti carbonara on a plate ready to eat

Ultimate spaghetti carbonara recipe

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(144 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 15 mins

Easy

Serves 4

Discover how to make our best spaghetti carbonara recipe. This cheesy pasta dish is an Italian favourite and, with a little help from Gennaro Contaldo, you can make it perfect every time

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal655
  • fat31g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein32g
  • salt2.02g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.

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 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

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 and season with a little freshly grated black pepper. 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 frying pan or wok and, as soon as the butter has melted, tip in the pancetta and garlic. Leave 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. Don’t worry if a little water drops in the pan as well (you want this to happen) and don’t throw 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. 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.

You may also like

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
SwimmingNathan
13th Nov, 2015
So instead of butter Olive Oil and drop the Pecorino with Parmigiono only?
Cosennet
9th Sep, 2015
Great classic recipe. Even better when you add white wine to bubble in with the pancetta and a little grated nutmeg to the eggs.
carpecaseus
18th Aug, 2015
5.05
Really very good. Worked beautifully with leftover smoked pulled pork too. One question though... How does one 'grate' black pepper? ;)
comedinewithdk
10th Aug, 2015
It's recipes like this why I love bbcgoodfood so! Gorgeous, creamy, authentic tasting carbonara on the table in 20mins. I've had far worst in restaurants before! I added mushrooms, spring onion and parsley whilst sautéing the bacon. Can't wait to make it again.
justhorses
4th Aug, 2015
5.05
Delicious, quick and easy! Couldn't ask for more really.
MrsK121
14th Jun, 2015
5.05
Stunning! This is so easy to make and the result is absolutely gorgeous. I would be happy to have this is a restaurant!
hcupcake19
12th Apr, 2015
Made this for the first time yesterday and it was really good! Usually I find that the egg scrambles but it didn't at all- brilliant recipe!
suepoolman
30th Mar, 2015
I thought this recipe was too compliicated, it was awful, I didn't like it at all !
claire8819
30th Mar, 2015
I've never made this before and am a pretty novice cook so forgive me if this sounds silly, but it sounds like the egg is pretty much raw (or half raw) when you serve the meal? Wouldn't this make you ill? I'm such a worry wart and have no idea about things like this!
vuvoo's picture
vuvoo
31st Mar, 2015
The egg is cooked delicately so that it doesn't taste raw but isn't scrambled - the heat of the freshly boiled spaghetti warms it gently. Carbonara is always made this way, so unfortunately if the level of cooked-ness doesn't sit with you this dish is not the one for you! It is very unlikely to make you ill.

Pages

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.