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Carbonara | RecipeTin Eats

This can be a actual spaghetti carbonara recipe made the standard Italian approach, with no single drop of cream. It depends solely on egg and cheese to make a luscious, creamy carbonara sauce. Meals match for a king (or queen!) that proves easy could be magnificent.

Close up of a bowl of Carbonara ready to be eaten
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Economical be aware – Use bacon as a substitute of guanciale and parmesan as a substitute of parmigiano reggiano for a really respectable model of carbonara that may nonetheless make Italians proud. However don’t add cream! 😊

Spaghetti carbonara

Carbonara is a lovely, basic Italian pasta that’s so creamy, you’d swear there’s an excellent quantity of cream in it. And certainly, there’s loads of recipes that cheat by including in cream.

However at present, we’re making spaghetti carbonara correctly, the genuine, conventional approach. No cream. Simply egg, cheese and a splash of starchy pasta cooking water.

quarter-hour later, THIS is the sight that can be in entrance of you. And also you’ll make 60 million Italians beam with satisfaction!

Carbonara on a fork
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You’ll be able to think about consuming that mouthful of chewy spaghetti bathed within the creamy sauce, proper? Don’t dream about it. Make it a actuality!! It’s so fast and straightforward it would blow your thoughts!

What occurs if I add cream?

Exterior of Italy, a number of recipes “cheat” by including cream into carbonara sauce, for numerous causes. Not a nasty factor, per se, it’s simply that it’s now not an actual carbonara.

However extra importantly for me (along with, after all, the truth that I’m sharing a recipe with the intention of respecting the origins), cream alters the mouthfeel and flavour. You see, actual carbonara is wealthy and creamy to eat. However you don’t get that slick of dairy fats coating your mouth such as you do when consuming cream.

Put one other approach – carbonara is the way you get your creamy pasta repair with out feeling weighed down such as you do once you take pleasure in pastas doused with heavy cream. Win!

Close up photo of Carbonara
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Components in carbonara sauce

Carbonara requires uncooked eggs that are stirred vigorously off the range with sizzling cooked pasta, guanciale (a cured pork like bacon), parmesan and a splash of pasta cooking water. Watch the magic unfold earlier than your eyes as 4 easy elements transforms into an opulent creamy sauce! NO CREAM allowed! 🙂

Economical be aware: Substitute guanciale with bacon and use parmesan as a substitute of parmigiana reggiano. You’ll nonetheless seize the essence of actual carbonara that may make Italians proud!

SpaghettiCarbonara ingredients
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  • Guanciale – This can be a key ingredient in carbonara, and is a cured fatty pork that’s much like bacon and pancetta. It provides provides flavour into the dish and the fats makes the sauce creamy when blended with the egg and starchy pasta cooking water.

    Discover it at Italian delis, Harris Farms (Syd, QLD), and speciality produce shops. It’s a little bit of a speciality product however could be substituted with pancetta or streaky bacon in a pinch! Finest to get block kind so you’ll be able to reduce it into thick batons. If pre-sliced is all you may get, attempt to get thick reduce.

    Extra info on guanciale under.

  • Parmigiano reggiano – That is mainly a premium parmesan that’s been aged so it has extra advanced flavours. It provides salt into the sauce in addition to thickening it. Pecorino romano, which is produced from sheep milk, can be generally used, or a mix of the 2. Substitute with parmesan cheese.

    Should grate your personal! No matter you utilize, don’t use retailer purchased pre-grated because it gained’t soften correctly within the sauce.

  • Egg yolks and entire eggs – The egg mixed with the guanciale fats is what makes the gorgeous creamy carbonara sauce that the world is obsessive about. There’s no want for cream for a creamy sauce! See part above for why.

    We use a mix of entire eggs, plus egg yolks for richness. If solely yolks are used, the richness is slightly too off-the-charts!

    Uncooked egg considerations? Lately in developed international locations, meals security requirements are such that you shouldn’t must be involved about consuming uncooked eggs sourced from respected shops. Actually, uncooked eggs are used extra generally than you in all probability realise, equivalent to in tiramisu and mayonnaise. So for those who’ve ever had any of those at eating places, you’ve had uncooked eggs!

    Nevertheless, if you’re pregnant or immunity compromised, I might suggest avoiding uncooked eggs as a precaution. Make fettucine alfredo as a substitute!

  • Spaghetti – Whereas you should utilize any lengthy pasta, the commonest sort used is spaghetti.

  • Pepper – For seasoning. Freshly floor black pepper really useful right here.

  • No salt in sauce – The pasta cooking water is salted so it flavours the spaghetti because it cooks. And the carbonara sauce will get salt from the guanciale and cheese.

  • Garlic, non-compulsory – Whereas not strictly conventional, garlic is a well-liked addition and it does add further flavour into it. 🙂

Guanciale for (actual) carbonara

Price searching down? Sure, if it’s accessible, inside your funds and you’re eager to expertise an genuine carbonara. However bacon or pancetta makes a really respectable substitute!

Guanciale is a cured Italian pork that’s produced from pig jowls or cheek that appears like a block of bacon. It has extra intense flavour than on a regular basis bacon due to the pork reduce used and it’s aged 3+ months.

It has a excessive proportion of fats, and that’s precisely appropriately and is required for carbonara. The fats that melts out of the guanciale when sautéed till golden is a key flavouring for the creamy carbonara sauce.

Equally essential is that the fats that melts out of the guanciale is required to thicken the carbonara sauce to make it creamy. Mainly, what occurs is that when the fats from the guanciale and within the egg yolks is blended with starchy pasta cooking water, it thickens. That is what makes the sauce creamy and cling to the pasta strands relatively than a watery pool within the base of your bowl. You’ll see within the recipe video under!

For those who don’t have sufficient fats (for instance, for those who attempt to make this with lean bacon), your sauce won’t ever thicken.

Substitute guanciale with pancetta or bacon, ideally in block kind so you’ll be able to reduce it into batons. Biting into the golden brown chunks of guanciale is a spotlight of this dish!! Whichever you utilize, it’s important to make sure there’s loads of streaks of fats.

Pre-sliced bacon? It can work however as a result of the slices are thinner than the perfect baton dimension, you’ll find yourself with much more bacon bits all through your dish than pictured on this put up. Maybe not thought of a detrimental, by some! 🙂

The best way to make (actual) carbonara

Sauté guanciale till golden. Combine sizzling cooked pasta vigorously with the guanciale, egg, cheese and a splash of pasta cooking water and watch because it transforms into an opulent, creamy sauce.

HOT TIP: Use the deal with of a wood spoon to combine. Quick and efficient!

  1. Batons – Reduce the guanciale into thick batons. Biting by means of the golden brown crust into meaty bits of salty guanciale is a part of the awesomeness that’s carbonara!

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Finely grate the parmigiana reggiano or pecorino. I exploit a microplane – one in every of can’t-live-without kitchenware gadgets!

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Sauce – Whisk collectively the egg, cheese and pepper in a big bowl. It must be a big bowl as a result of the pasta can be stirred into the sauce within the bowl, off the range, to keep away from scrambling the eggs.

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Cook dinner pasta – Carry 4 litres (4 quarts) of water to the boil with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook dinner the pasta per packet instructions. It must be agency, not mushy, however absolutely cooked by means of.

  2. Reserve pasta cooking water – Simply earlier than draining, scoop out one cup of pasta cooking water. Then drain the pasta in a colander.

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Cook dinner guanciale till golden whereas the pasta is cooking. You don’t want any oil, the guanciale will fry in its personal fats.

  2. Toss pasta in guanciale – Tumble the recent pasta into the pan with the guanciale then toss so the pasta will get coated within the guanciale fats.

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Switch into sauce bowl – Tip the recent pasta into the bowl with the egg and use a rubber spatula to scrape out each drop of the guanciale fats into the bowl. That stuff is gold! 🙂

  2. Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into the bowl.

How to make Carbonara
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  1. Combine vigorously with the deal with of a wood spoon, spinning the pasta round, for round 30 seconds to 1 minute. Watch because the watery pale yellow liquid magically transforms right into a creamy sauce.

    it’s prepared when the sauce is now not watery and pooled within the backside of the bowl. As an alternative, it is going to be thickened, creamy, and clinging to the pasta!

How to make Carbonara
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Bowl of Carbonara
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  1. Serve instantly in heat bowls. Pasta waits for nobody!

    Heat bowls? Sure. I don’t often heat bowls for serving meals, however for pasta, I nearly all the time do. It’s because pasta is at its finest when it’s freshly made with the sauce is slick and the pasta is juicy. Because it cools, the sauce thickens and the pasta will get stodgy. A heat bowl prolongs the lifetime of pasta. I simply heat bowls by inserting a stack within the microwave for 1 minute. Else, run it beneath sizzling water or put in a low oven.

Carbonara being served
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Carbonara ready to be eaten
Carbonara | RecipeTin Eats 101

And there you’ve gotten it. One of the luxurious pasta dishes on the planet. Do you know it was this fast and straightforward to make? Such is the great thing about Italian meals. The simplicity, letting produce take centre stage with a number of little methods to make magnificent good with so few elements.

5 elements.


It’s a fully stunner. I actually hope you do that in the future. – Nagi x

Watch how one can make it

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Close up of a bowl of Carbonara ready to be eaten

Carbonara (actual)


Faucet or hover to scale

Recipe video above. Lately, so many carbonara recipes cheat with cream which is a disgrace. The normal methodology makes use of uncooked egg which is blended vigorously with sizzling pasta and parmigiana reggiano cheese which transforms right into a silky, creamy, luxurious sauce not like something you have ever had earlier than. Arguably the perfect pasta dish in the entire world!This can be a pasta that should be eaten right away to actually expertise its magnificence. Serve in heat bowls!


  • Guanciale – Reduce into 0.5cm / 1/5″ thick slices then into batons.

  • Carbonara sauce – Place eggs and yolks in a big bowl. Whisk to mix. Then stir within the parmesan and pepper.

  • Cook dinner pasta – Carry 4 litres (4 quarts) of water to the boil with the salt. Add pasta and prepare dinner per the packet instructions.

  • Reserve pasta water – Simply earlier than draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Cook dinner guanciale – Whereas the pasta is cooking, place guanciale in a non stick pan over medium excessive warmth. Cook dinner for 4 to five minutes till golden. No oil wanted – because the guanciale heats up, the fats will soften so it fries in its personal fats. If utilizing garlic, add it within the final minute.

  • Pasta in pan – Tip the recent pasta into the pan and toss to coat in guanciale fats.

  • Combine pasta in sauce – Switch the pasta and any residual fats within the pan into the bowl with the egg. Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) pasta cooking water. Stir vigorously utilizing the deal with of a wood spoon for 1 minute and watch because the sauce transforms from watery to creamy and clings to the pasta strands!

  • Serve – Switch into heat bowls. Serve instantly, garnished with slightly further parmigiana reggiano if desired, and a pinch of black pepper and finely chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes:

Economical be aware: Use bacon as a substitute of guanciale and parmesan as a substitute of parmigiano reggiano for a really respectable model of carbonara that may nonetheless make Italians proud. Simply don’t add cream! 😊
1. Guanciale is the cured pork historically utilized in carbonara. Bought in block kind that you simply reduce your self, it may be present in Italian/speciality delis, Harris Farms (Syd, Brisbane) and a few butchers. It’s very fatty and has a stronger flavour than pancetta and bacon. Substitute with block bacon or pancetta (so you’ll be able to reduce batons), or thick pre-sliced bacon. Should use streaky as sauce wants fats to thicken (learn in put up for why).
2. Eggs – Use giant eggs (cartons labelled as such) that are 55-60g / 2oz every. See right here for straightforward methods to make use of/retailer leftover egg whites!
3. Parmigiano reggiano is a premium aged sort of parmesan. Pecorino can be generally used. Sub parmesan. Don’t use retailer bough pre-grated because it won’t soften correctly. Should finely shred it your self!
100g/3.5oz is one tightly packed cup ie shred, put in a cup and pack it down tightly.
4. Garlic not conventional nevertheless it provides further flavour and I can’t resist. Sorry Italy! 🙂
5. Leftovers will preserve for 3 days however pasta actually is all the time finest eaten freshly made, specifically for carbonara!

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