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Spaghetti alla Carbonara: the Traditional Italian Recipe

ivan zeta

"This dish was created in the Lazio region (the area around Rome) in the middle of the 20th century, after World War Two. We don't use cream, milk, garlic, onions or other strange ingredients; we use only guanciale, eggs, pecorino cheese, and lots of black pepper (carbonaro is the Italian for coal miner). This isn't the Italian-American version, it's the real, creamy carbonara and it comes right from Italy, where I live. Buon appetito."
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Ingredients

29 m servings 764 cals
Original recipe yields 4 servings

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Directions

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  • Prep

  • Cook

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  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add guanciale (see Cook's Note). Cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs, 5 tablespoons pecorino Romano cheese, and some black pepper in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Pour egg mixture over pasta, stirring quickly, until creamy and slightly cooled. Stir in guanciale. Top with remaining 5 tablespoons pecorino Romano cheese and more ground black pepper.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Notes:
  • Guanciale, dry-cured pork jowl, is available from specialty markets. Substitute unsmoked bacon or pancetta for the guanciale if desired.
  • Use Italian pasta for best results. Substitute bucatini for the spaghetti if preferred.
  • Substitute Parmesan cheese for the pecorino Romano if desired.
  • Tip: ask somebody to hold the pot so you can stir pasta quickly while pouring the egg mixture over it.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 764 calories; 28.4 g fat; 85.3 g carbohydrates; 39.1 g protein; 200 mg cholesterol; 1182 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Reviews

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Awesome! I don't know how readily available guanciale is in the States, but if you can't find it, use pancetta. Just don't use regular N. American bacon. The curing process is different and chan...

I used pancetta and other than whisking a few tablespoons pasta water into the eggs before adding to temper them a bit didn't change a thing. Next time will make it with parmiagiano reggiano che...

I decided to make it because my kids like bacon.. I (against my inclination) decided to keep it simple like the recipe indicates. The kids liked it and for me it reaffirms that sometimes less is...

My 23 year old son loves spaghetti carbonara and makes his own often. This evening I asked him to help me make this recipe for our family of 5. He asked me if it had cream in it...because an ...

I really love carbonara. This recipe didn't disappoint. When I got the pancetta from the deli, I had them slice it fairly thin. I think that was a mistake. It made it more salty then I inten...

So delicious and so easy! I’ve always been afraid of carbonara, but never again! Next time I’ll use less pancetta (maybe 1/2 — 3/4 lb). Just our preference. Great recipe!

I have never had Spaghetti alla Carbonara before but I do plan to have it again. This is good stuff. The ingredients are not easy to find in my area though, so it won't be a regular in my life.

Big hit in our house, it was yummy and super easy! I substituted Barillo's GF spaghetti to modify dish to accommodate gluten free dietary needs. Thank you for sharing!

It is good but needs a little more sauce. Noodles are dry but the flavor is fantastic. Putting Romano cheese in the recipe is way better than Parmesan!