Original Italian Carbonara

    20 min

    This is the true version of carbonara - NO cream, NO onions, NO mushrooms, NO chicken or whatever so called Italian restaurants serve all over Ireland and UK.


    County Kerry, Ireland
    1534 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 360g spaghetti
    • 200g guanciale (pancetta) or bacon
    • 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
    • 80g grated Parmigiano or Pecorino (ewe's cheese)
    • olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:20min 

    1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil (you will need at least 4 litres for this amount of pasta - if you're doing it for more than 4 servings add an extra litre every 100g pasta), adding two not too full dessertspoons of coarse salt when water starts to boil.
    2. Throw in the pasta about a minute after the salt.
    3. Do NOT break the spaghetti! Even if they don't fit in the pan, the best way is to hold them in a bunch vertically and immerse. Let go and they will fan out in all directions, and as they soften will sink and cook just perfect.
    4. When the pasta is nearly ready (see packet of pasta for cooking time) shallow fry in a non stick pan the diced pancetta for only a couple minutes, it doesn't need more.
    5. Drain the pasta and throw it in the pan together with the pancetta and continue to fry it, adding a little glug of olive oil. (The pasta needs to be just short of "al dente" when you drain it as it will continue cooking in the pan.)
    6. Off the heat prepare a large serving bowl and lightly whisk two full eggs and one yolk with a pinch of salt and the grated cheese.
    7. Throw the pasta sauteed with the pancetta on top of it and give it a quick mix before serving.
    8. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

    Cook's tip

    Even if you are making a different version of carbonara remember never to throw the eggs in full heat (ie directly in the pan) as they will overcook and you'll find yourself with scrambled eggs! They will cook just enough with the heat from the pasta in the bowl.

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    Reviews in English (55)


    A really super recipe. This is premier league compared to the creamy version. I used a tad too much cheese so making the finished dish a little salty but even that didn't detract from THIS recipe.Great!!  -  19 Nov 2011


    This is the real Carbonara which is unfortunately destroyed abroad. It's one of the easiest and best pasta recipes that there is and thanks for sharing Mamma! This is just how my Italian mother in law makes Carbonara and how I make it for friends and family at home!  -  05 Jan 2011


    I had some Italian friends over for a potluck and they made this dish just like this (one with the bacon, one with peas and carrots for the vegetarians) and it was AMAZING.  -  26 Nov 2012