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Bowl of spaghetti carbonara with grated parmesan

Learn to make spaghetti carbonara

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Master this hearty pasta dish and you’ll never be stuck for a quick supper

Nutrition: per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal734
fat36g
saturates15g
carbs75g
sugars4g
fibre3g
protein33g
salt3g
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Ingredients

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked pancetta cubes or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g Grana padano or parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

Method

  • STEP 1

    Bring a large, deep pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook, following pack instructions. Aim for 'al dente': cooked, but retaining some bite in the middle. Take a few strands out of the water with a spaghetti spoon or tongs 1-2 mins before the end of the cooking time and bite into it. Repeat until you think it is properly cooked.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, tip in the pancetta. Fry over a medium heat until the fat in the meat has melted down into the pan and the meat has turned lightly golden. Be careful not to crisp the pancetta too much; it will be cooked a little bit more later on in the recipe. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Crack two of the eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk from the third egg: gently crack the side of the shell and, using both hands, slowly open it into two halves over a separate bowl - you want to keep the yolk in one of the halves. Tip the yolk from one shell half to the other and repeat until all the egg white has fallen into the bowl below, taking care not to crack the yolk on any rough shell edges. Tip the yolk in with the other eggs and beat together, along with the double cream, parmesan and some seasoning.

  • STEP 4

    Add the garlic to the pancetta and return the frying pan to hob. Fry over high heat for 1 min or until garlic is cooked and pancetta warmed through. Meanwhile, drain the spaghetti. Tip back into the hot saucepan off the heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta, followed by hot pancetta, garlic, any fat and oils. Toss quickly and thoroughly with spaghetti spoon or tongs. Mix until it has thickened to a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve with extra cheese and freshly ground pepper.

RECIPE TIPS
LOWER IN FAT
Omit the extra egg yolk and replace the double cream with low-fat crème fraîche.
CHILLI CHICKEN
Fry chunks of chicken and a finely chopped deseeded chilli with the pancetta for a meatier version with a kick.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2006

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A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.79 ratings
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