Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Indulge in our Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe – a classic Italian dish with a rich, creamy sauce and crisp pancetta for an authentic taste.
Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Spaghetti Carbonara: A Timeless Italian Classic

Spaghetti Carbonara is a beloved Italian dish that has won over people worldwide with its rich, creamy taste. This dish features al dente spaghetti coated in a luxurious sauce made from eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and crispy pancetta. It truly celebrates Italian cooking at its finest. In this guide, we’ll share the secrets to making a perfect, authentic Spaghetti Carbonara. Each bite will transport you straight to Rome.

Spaghetti Carbonara dinner

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Our Spaghetti Carbonara recipe is perfect for everyone, from beginners to pasta pros. We’ll guide you through each step to ensure you make this classic pasta just right. From selecting the finest ingredients to mastering the Carbonara sauce, you’ll learn how to create traditional Spaghetti Carbonara in your kitchen. This easy recipe is sure to delight your loved ones.

Key Takeaways

  • Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic Italian dish known for its rich, creamy flavors.
  • The secret to authentic Carbonara lies in using high-quality ingredients like Pecorino Romano cheese, eggs, and pancetta.
  • Our detailed recipe will help you recreate this traditional Italian dish at home.
  • Perfecting the Carbonara sauce and cooking the spaghetti just right are key for an authentic experience.
  • With our tips, you can create a dish that tastes like it came straight from Rome.

What Is Spaghetti Carbonara?

Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish that showcases simple, high-quality ingredients. It combines spaghetti, guanciale or pancetta, eggs, Pecorino Romano, and plenty of black pepper. The dish is all about balance, blending a rich, creamy sauce with salty, crispy pork.

Spaghetti Carbonara dish

The History of This Classic Dish

The story of Spaghetti Carbonara originates in Lazio, Italy, particularly Rome. The name “Carbonara” comes from “carbonaro,” meaning charcoal worker, highlighting its humble beginnings. This recipe reflects Italy’s rich culinary heritage and the ingenuity of its people.

Key Ingredients for Authentic Carbonara

To make an authentic Spaghetti Carbonara, you’ll need key ingredients: spaghetti, guanciale or pancetta, eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. Each component is crucial for achieving the right flavor and texture. The combination of pork, sauce, and pasta creates a memorable dish.

Spaghetti Carbonara plated

Mastering the Art of Carbonara Sauce

The heart of Spaghetti Carbonara is its rich, creamy sauce. This section will guide you in making the perfect Carbonara sauce, focusing on fresh egg yolks and the choice between Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese. You’ll learn key tips to achieve the ideal balance of flavors and texture.

spaghetti carbonara sprinkled with parmesan cheese

The Importance of Fresh Egg Yolks

Using fresh, high-quality egg yolks is essential for a silky, creamy Carbonara sauce. These eggs provide the sauce with its rich, velvety texture. The yolks combine with the pasta’s starch and Pecorino Romano cheese to create a smooth, cohesive sauce.

Balancing Flavors: Pecorino Romano vs. Parmesan

Choosing between Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese greatly influences the flavor of your Carbonara. Pecorino Romano, made from sheep’s milk, adds a bold, salty, tangy note that complements the pancetta and black pepper. Parmesan offers a milder, nuttier taste, resulting in a less sharp sauce. Experiment with both cheeses to find your preferred flavor.

Spaghetti Carbonara recipe

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Spaghetti

An authentic Spaghetti Carbonara relies not only on quality ingredients but also on perfectly cooked pasta. Achieving the al dente texture is crucial for allowing the creamy sauce to shine.

Al Dente Perfection

The key to a great Carbonara is perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti. Overcooking results in mushy pasta, which won’t hold the sauce well. Keep an eye on the cooking time and taste your pasta frequently to achieve the ideal texture.

Salting the Pasta Water

Properly seasoning your pasta water is vital for the best Carbonara. Salting the water infuses the spaghetti with subtle flavor, enhancing the overall dish and perfectly complementing the creamy sauce.

spaghetti carbonara with parmesan

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe FAQ

What is the traditional way to make Spaghetti Carbonara?

Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara uses simple ingredients: spaghetti, guanciale or pancetta, eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. The secret is to mix hot spaghetti with the egg mixture off the heat, ensuring the eggs cook without scrambling.

What is the history behind Spaghetti Carbonara?

Spaghetti Carbonara originates from the Lazio region in Italy, primarily Rome. The name “Carbonara” is derived from “carbonaro,” meaning charcoal worker, suggesting its origins among laborers.

What are the essential ingredients for an authentic Carbonara?

The key ingredients for authentic Spaghetti Carbonara are spaghetti, guanciale or pancetta, eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. Combining these elements correctly creates a creamy, flavorful dish.

How do I ensure my Carbonara sauce has the perfect texture and consistency?

For the perfect Carbonara sauce, use fresh, high-quality egg yolks and mix them with hot spaghetti off the heat. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs slowly, creating a smooth, creamy sauce.

What is the best way to cook the spaghetti for Carbonara?

To cook spaghetti for Carbonara, boil it in well-salted water until just al dente. This allows the pasta to absorb the sauce and finish cooking perfectly when mixed.

steaming plate of spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Let’s dive into how to make authentic Spaghetti Carbonara at home. We’ll cover selecting the best ingredients, cooking the pasta perfectly, and making the iconic Carbonara sauce. Your family and friends will love this dish.

spaghetti carbonara recipe

Spaghetti Carbonara

Craving a taste of Italy? Try this authentic Spaghetti Carbonara recipe! 🍝🇮🇹 Simple, creamy, and oh-so-delicious. Perfect for a cozy dinner at home.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade spaghetti carbonara, homemade spaghetti carbonara recipe, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti carbonara homemade recipe, spaghetti carbonara recipe
Servings: 4 servings


  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Skillet for cooking guanciale
  • Mixing bowl for the egg and cheese mixture
  • Tongs for tossing pasta
  • Grater for cheese


  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 4 ounces guanciale or pancetta diced
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt


  • Cook the Spaghetti: Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the spaghetti until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve a cup of cooking water before draining the pasta.
  • Prepare the Pork: Heat a skillet and cook the guanciale or pancetta until crispy, around 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Make the Sauce: In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and cheese until smooth. Slowly add half a cup of pasta water, stirring well to create a creamy sauce.
  • Combine: Add the pasta to the skillet with the pork. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix carefully. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.
  • Serve: Plate the Spaghetti Carbonara and sprinkle extra cheese and pepper on top. Enjoy each bite as it transports you to Rome.


  • Cream: Some variations use a small amount of cream for added richness, but traditional recipes do not include cream.
  • Cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano can be used if Pecorino Romano is not available, though the flavor will differ slightly.
  • Meat: Pancetta can be used in place of guanciale if needed, though it has a different texture and fat content.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Enjoy making and savoring this classic Italian dish. With these tips and techniques, your Spaghetti Carbonara will be nothing short of spectacular.

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