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Pasta carbonara

Pasta carbonara

The original pasta carbonara recipe is a true institution of traditional Italian cuisine. Here are all the secrets to prepare it impeccably!

It is one of the most loved, discussed, interpreted and cooked first courses by Italians: we are talking about pasta carbonara, a classic of Roman cuisine that combines strong flavors with crunchy and creamy textures. This first course knows many variations, and not only regarding the various interpretations, but also for the traditional recipe. Which, however, in reality, would not seem to exist… In fact, there are those who use bacon, those who use bacon, those who use onion, those who instead maintain that long pasta should be used, those who still use egg white and those who only use egg white. red.

But how is carbonara prepared? Although there are different schools of thought, however, there is no real recipe, and this is because the exact origin of the dish is not known. What if the Americans had really invented it, preparing a pasta with scrambled egg and bacon? Maybe it's better not to think about it! However, over the years the techniques have perfected and today we have arrived at what can be considered the perfect carbonara! Follow all our steps and the video recipe .

Pasta carbonara
Pasta carbonara

How to make spaghetti carbonara: the original recipe

If you want to discover all the secrets to making a fantastic, creamy and perfect one , follow us in the kitchen: here is the recipe for spaghetti carbonara!

Carbonara ingredients

Let's start from the identikit of this first course: first of all, the ingredients of the carbonara must absolutely be of quality. Get yourself:

  • 1 piece of medium-aged and still soft pecorino romano (90 g will be enough for 4 people)
  • piece of quality bacon (you will have to obtain 200 g of cubes)
  • 5 eggs (there will be 4 yolks and a whole egg)
  • approximately 95 grams of pasta per person (for a total of 380 g)
  • 30 g of grated cheese
  • black pepper and salt to taste

And above all, rule number one: forget about canned bacon… and cream ! However, if you are curious about this preparation, we refer you to our carbonara with cream .

Preparation of the carbonara

Now that we've got the basics down, let's get started with the preparation!

cook spaghetti
cook spaghetti

1. Boil a pan of water, and when it is at temperature, add the spaghetti. Already for this phase, we reveal the first secret for a perfect carbonara: add a little salt to the water! The pecorino and bacon, in fact, will contribute to giving the right flavor to the dish.

Cook bacon in a pan

2. While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon into cubes or strips after removing the rind. Heat a non-stick pan and sauté the bacon without adding any other fat. The secret in this phase is cutting the meat: don't cut it too thin, but thick enough to make it crispy on the outside but not dried out on the inside! Turn off once it has become crispy.

Eggs for the carbonara

3. In the meantime, let's take care of the sauce. One of the rules for the doses is to add one yolk each (only the yolk, please!) and a whole egg. With this dosage the pasta will be nice and creamy, but if you want to lighten it, you can also reduce the quantity of eggs.

Beat eggs with cheese and pepper

4. Beat with a fork and add the pecorino and grated cheese, mixing everything well until the consistency is nice and creamy, even like a paste. Don't worry, the cooking water will then take care of making it liquid. Finish with plenty of pepper, preferably freshly ground.
5. Drain the pasta al dente in the pan, turn on the heat and sauté it with the bacon and the fat released during cooking, adding a little cooking water to facilitate the release of the starches.

Stir in the pasta with the egg cream

6. Add the egg and pecorino cream to the pasta with the bacon, carrying out this operation off the heat. Once the sauce has been added, add some cooking water and mix by stirring or stirring quickly with a wooden spoon: in this way the egg will not cook and will not give life to the classic omelette effect .
7. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of cheese and freshly ground pepper. The carbonara is finally ready. Enjoy your meal !

What to do with those leftover egg whites ? Don't worry: nothing will go to waste if you take a look at our recipes with egg whites !

Read also
Carbonara: origin and curiosity about one of the most famous traditional dishes

Primo Chef's secrets for a creamy and perfect carbonara

Pasta carbonara
Pasta carbonara

The type of pasta : rigatoni, spaghetti, tonnarelli, bucatini carbonara… which shape of pasta to choose? The rule is… there are no rules! There are those who prefer a long pasta , those who prefer a short one: the important thing is that you like it, that the pasta is nice and above all of good quality .

The bacon : as we mentioned, cooking the bacon is crucial . It is preferred over bacon for its more complex and fattier flavour, and is usually cut into strips. If you keep a cut thick enough, you can make it sweat well by removing the fat , make it nice and crunchy on the outside but keep it moist on the inside: in this way it will be a pleasure for the palate!

– How to manage pork fat ? There are three schools of thought here. Anyone who wants to lighten the recipe throws it away, but for some traditionalists this is sacrilege! The fat, in fact, is used to create flavor and to sauté the pasta before adding it to the egg and making it already tasty . The third variant? Deglaze it with a touch of white wine and only then sauté the pasta.

The carbonara sauce : here too you will surely have heard that those who use white are making a mistake, but in reality this is not the case. Everyone has their own (for example, there are those who put one yolk per person plus a whole egg and those who, on the contrary, put one egg per person plus one yolk). In general, remember that the egg must not be cooked, nor must it be raw, which is why the best idea is to season the pasta with the heat off in the pan. An alternative is to pasteurize the eggs for a few minutes by placing them in a bowl in contact with the steam from the cooking water, and stirring slowly.
However, there is another possible variant: prepare carbonara with the Thermomix ; Before you turn up your nose, give it a chance !

And if you liked it, here are all the secrets for cooking apasta alla gricia to perfection and for an impeccable cacio e pepe .


We recommend consuming it immediately but if you have some left over you can keep it in the fridge in a container for a day. The egg, however, will thicken so we recommend turning it into a pasta omelette . Freezing is not recommended.

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