Spaghetti alla carbonara

Recipe – Spaghetti Carbonara

Carbonara is one of my go-to dishes for a quick supper – comforting, simple to prepare and always well received.

Carbonara has to be one of the simplest dishes and yet it’s the cause of much debate – cream or not? The full egg or just the yolk? One thing seems certain to me – Italians do not use cream in their recipe so ditch it from your dinner and try the real Italian Carbonara!

Over the years I’ve tested many different methods and I’ve finally settled on this, my definitive recipe.

A few notes;

– I use spaghetti by default but any long, thin shape will do.

– It’s worth investigating guanciale (pig cheek, we sell a lovely peppered version) – the fat renders down during cooking giving lovely flavour to the sauce.

Guanciale al pepe

– Eggs, use fresh and free range. I use only the yolk but feel free to use the whites too (I save them to make meringues). I find I get creamier results my way with a lower tendency for it to scramble.

– Truffle pecorino will turn this dish into something very special!

Recipe (feeds two)

200g spaghetti

a dash of olive oil

50g guanciale or pancetta

2 egg yolks

50g gran pecorino (or truffle pecorino), grated


Put a large pan of salted water on the boil, once at a rolling boil add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, chop the guanciale or pancetta into small pieces and fry in a dash of olive oil on a medium heat. Once golden in colour take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate dish with half the grated pecorino.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain (reserving a ladle of the cooking water) and add the pasta to the guanciale pan and mix. Let this cool for about a minute and stir through the egg mixture (DO NOT apply any further heat or you will scramble the eggs). At this stage, add a dash of the pasta water to loosen the sauce then tip out onto warmed plates and garnish with the remaining gran pecorino and a dash of pepper.

The wine match? For me, it’s got to be the fresh vitality of Gavi, try our Gavi Conchetta at £9.60, crunchy green apple and limey fruit with a wonderfully dry, mineral finish.

Buon Appetito!

Spaghetti alla carbonara