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Pasta alla carbonara

Serves   1
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

"This is my Sicilian Grandmother's recipe, and I am posting it here to re-establish the truth behind this dish. It always breaks my heart when I see it at restaurants with cream, peas and bacon. So here it is, the real original Italian pasta carbonara. Enjoy!"





  • Pasta - any kind works. My favourite for this recipe is Spaghetti
  • Count about 120g per person
  • Eggs - 1 egg + 1 egg yolk per person
  • Pamersan - grated - a small handful per person
  • Pancetta - 80gr per person
  • Freshly ground black pepper - a lot...


  1. Put the water to boil. Salt your water (when you taste it, it should taste like the sea).
  2. Prepare your pancetta: cut it in thin srips.
  3. In a bowl, whisk your eggs and egg yolks with the parmesan. Add the black pepper. Beat the preparation until mixed together.
  4. Once the water boils, pour in your pasta.
  5. While your pasta is cooking, put some olive oil in a large pan. Once the oil is hot, add your pancetta. Do not overcook the pancetta. It needs to be crispy but not burnt. Once cooked, put the pan aside.
  6. Once your pasta is cooked 'al dente' (to the bite) drain in a colander.
  7. Now this is the most important bit: because you are mixing hot pasta with eggs, there is a thin line between a perfectly executed dish and an omelette. So, 2 tips to prevent the eggs to transform themselves into an unpleasant consistency:
  8. 1- leave a little water clinging to the pasta when you drain it.
  9. 2 -make sure you do not have too much pasta for the amount of sauce. It pays to use a little less pasta when you first mix everything together and add more if you see that your sauce is creamy enough.
  10. Pour your pasta in the pan where you cooked the pancetta (so all the oil gets used to cover the pasta) and then pour in your egg-parmesan mixture. Mix all very quickly until you see the silky texture forming.
  11. Pour into a plate, add a last dash of cracked pepper, sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. You can taste and rectify with salt if you wish although I find the pancetta brings enough saltiness to the dish.
  12. So here you have it: Creamy and oh so tasty with no cream, no bacon, no peas, no onion. Buon Appetito!

Carbonara come from the word Carbone which means coal, so we need to see the pepper in your pasta.