Spaghetti alla Carbonara
should I make it?
This is a
classic and easy to make so is ideal for a quick supper. The
not seasonal so it’s fine to make this at any time of the
That said, it’s
not the most healthy of dishes and it can be quite heavy so it's not a dish you'd want to be eating too often!
How long will it take?
on the pasta you use it should certainly take no longer than about
in total (and less time than that if you use fresh pasta).
What ingredients do I need?
of this recipe is it uses ingredients you should generally always have
in your kitchen:
For about 4
people you will need:
(I actually prefer dried pasta for this recipe but you can use fresh)
Parmesan cheese (grated)
pecorino cheese (grated)
(chopped, I prefer the flat leaf variety for this recipe)
Salt & Black Pepper
Can I use any alternatives if I
can find certain
You can use
diced streaky bacon (or even chopped roast ham) as an alternative to
You will get a different result but still a tasty one!
You can use
basil or rocket as an alternative to parsley.
You can use
pecorino as an alternative or even in addition to Parmesan cheese.
is the classic pasta shape for this recipe but something
linguini or tagliatelle would be fine.
What preparation do I need to
do / what can I
do in advance?
is so quick there's no significant preparation work to do. The cheeses
will need to be grated - I would not advise buying pre-grated cheeses
they simply don't taste as good! Buying
pancetta already diced will save you some time though.
are the main steps?
diced pancetta over a medium heat in olive oil. I like to cook the
well until crispy.
heat a pan of salted water for the pasta and add the spaghetti when the
starts to boil. Cook spaghetti in accordance with instructions. Fresh
pasta should only take about 5 minutes or less, dried pasta will take
eggs together add some black pepper and then add the pecorino and most
of the Parmesan
(reserve some to add to finished dish)
pasta once it is al dente (reserve some of the cooking water) and add
pan with the pancetta. Reduce heat to very low.
and cheese mixture over the pasta and mix well. Be careful not to allow
eggs to scramble! Add some of the reserved cooking water if it becomes
How should I serve it?
bowls with extra sprinkling of Parmesan and some black pepper to taste.
people like to drizzle a few drops of some good quality olive oil over
too just before serving.
Are there any variations to
this recipe that I could
are so many variations to this classic, some are not strictly Italian
tasty so feel free to experiment!
recipes add cream which makes it richer and gives you more of a sauce.
add only egg yokes and not egg whites
of course add some chili and garlic too. I have even seen people add
such as mushrooms, peas or onions although I suppose strictly speaking
moving away from true ‘Carbonara’.
What are the origins of this
originates from the Rome
/ Lazio region following the 2nd World War. Its
name originates from
the Italian word for charcoal possibly suggesting it was a favourite of
charcoal workers in Italy.
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