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5 secrets to Mastering the Classic Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Spaghetti carbonara Recipe is an Italian classic that has become a favorite all over the world. With its rich, creamy sauce and salty, savory flavor, it’s easy to see why this dish has stood the test of time. But what exactly is spaghetti carbonara, and how can you make it at home?

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
Classic Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

The origins of spaghetti carbonara recipe are somewhat unclear, with different stories and theories about where the dish came from. Some say it was invented by Italian charcoal workers, who would cook the dish over an open fire using the ingredients they had on hand. Others believe it was created by American soldiers stationed in Italy during World War II, who were looking for a comforting and familiar dish to eat while far from home.

Regardless of its origins, spaghetti carbonara has become a beloved classic that is enjoyed by people all over the world. The dish typically consists of spaghetti noodles, cooked until al-dente, tossed with a sauce made from eggs, Parmesan cheese, and crispy pancetta or bacon. The result is a rich and satisfying dish that is perfect for a cozy night in or a special occasion. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of spaghetti carbonara, explore different variations of the recipe, and provide step-by-step instructions for making this classic dish at home.



If you’re looking for a classic spaghetti carbonara recipe, you’ll need a few essential ingredients. The dish is simple, but it’s all about getting the right ingredients and cooking them perfectly. Here are the main ingredients you’ll need:


Traditionally, spaghetti carbonara is made with Guanciale, which is a type of cured pork cheek. If you can’t find Guanciale, you can substitute it with Pancetta or bacon. Pancetta is the closest substitute, but bacon will work in a pinch.


Spaghetti is the most commonly used pasta for carbonara, but you can also use spaghettoni, which is a thicker spaghetti, or bucatini, which is a hollow spaghetti. You’ll need about 400g of pasta for four servings.


The two types of cheese used in spaghetti carbonara recipe are Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty cheese made from sheep’s milk, while Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard, nutty cheese made from cow’s milk. You’ll need about 60g of each cheese.


Eggs are a crucial ingredient in spaghetti carbonara, as they create the creamy sauce. You’ll need four large eggs for four servings. Make sure they’re fresh and at room temperature.


Freshly ground black pepper is essential in spaghetti carbonara. You’ll need about one teaspoon of pepper for four servings.


You’ll need to salt the pasta water generously to give the pasta flavor. Use about 10g of salt per liter of water.

To summarize, the ingredients you’ll need for classic spaghetti carbonara are meat (guanciale, pancetta, or bacon), pasta (spaghetti, spaghettoni, or bucatini), cheese (Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano), eggs, black pepper, and salt. Make sure you get high-quality ingredients, as they will make all the difference in the final dish.

Preparing Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
Preparing Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe


Preparing the perfect classic spaghetti carbonara recipe requires a few essential steps. Here are the sub-sections that will guide you through the process:

Boiling the Pasta

The first step in preparing the classic spaghetti carbonara recipe is boiling the pasta. Fill a large pot with water, add salt to taste, and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and cook it until it is al dente. Al dente means that the pasta is cooked but still firm to the bite. It usually takes around 8-10 minutes to cook spaghetti until al dente. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, and keep some hot pasta water aside.

Preparing the Sauce

The next step is to prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, add olive oil and garlic, and cook it until the garlic is fragrant. Then, add the pancetta or guanciale and cook it until it is crispy. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the eggs and egg yolks to the skillet. Beat the eggs and egg yolks until they are well combined. Then, add some grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper to the skillet and mix it well.

Mixing the Pasta and Sauce

The final step is to mix the pasta and sauce. Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the sauce and mix it well. If the sauce is too thick, add some hot pasta water until you get the desired consistency. The hot pasta water will help to loosen the sauce and make it creamy. Keep mixing the pasta and sauce until the spaghetti is coated with the sauce.

And there you have it, a perfect classic spaghetti carbonara recipe that is creamy, flavorful, and delicious. Enjoy it with some extra grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper on top.

Remember, the key to making a perfect classic spaghetti carbonara recipe is to use high-quality ingredients, cook the pasta until it is al dente, and mix the pasta and sauce well. With these simple steps, you can make a delicious and authentic Italian dish that will impress your family and friends.

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to making the perfect classic spaghetti carbonara, there are a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference. From choosing the right pasta to making it creamy, here are some helpful hints to ensure your carbonara turns out delicious every time.

Choosing the Right Pasta

The type of pasta you use can have a big impact on the overall texture and flavor of your carbonara. While spaghetti is the traditional choice, you can also use rigatoni or other types of Italian pasta. If you want to go for a truly authentic spaghetti carbonara, fresh spaghetti is the way to go. Just keep in mind that fresh pasta cooks faster than dried pasta, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Using Fresh Ingredients

To make the best carbonara, it’s important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. This means using fresh eggs, freshly grated Pecorino cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper. You should also use high-quality pancetta or guanciale instead of bacon, as these meats have a richer flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce.

Making It Creamy

The key to making a creamy carbonara is to add the egg mixture to the pasta while it’s still hot, but not too hot. If the pasta is too hot, the eggs will cook too quickly and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs instead of a creamy sauce. To prevent this, remove the pasta from the heat and let it cool for a minute or two before adding the egg mixture. You should also mix the eggs and cheese in a separate bowl before adding them to the pasta, as this will ensure that the sauce is evenly distributed.

Serving Suggestions

Once your carbonara is ready, it’s time to serve it up. You can garnish it with additional grated Pecorino cheese and black pepper, and serve it with a side salad or some crusty bread. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat up in a pan on the stove.

In terms of prep time, carbonara is a relatively quick and easy dish to make. It usually takes around 30 minutes from start to finish, including prep time and cook time. However, if you’re using fresh pasta, it may take a bit longer to cook.

Overall, the key to making an authentic spaghetti carbonara is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients, and to follow the recipe carefully. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make a delicious carbonara that’s sure to impress your friends and family.

Nutritional Information

When it comes to classic spaghetti carbonara, the nutritional information may not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s important to consider if you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to eat a balanced diet. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional analysis of this dish and explore some of the key ingredients that make up this classic Italian recipe.

Calories and Servings

One of the first things to consider when it comes to the nutritional information of spaghetti carbonara is the calorie count. A typical serving of spaghetti carbonara (around 200g) contains approximately 600-700 calories. Of course, this can vary depending on the specific recipe and the portion size, so it’s important to keep this in mind when planning your meals.

It’s also worth noting that a serving of spaghetti carbonara can be quite filling, thanks to the high fat content. This means that you may not need to eat as much as you would with other dishes to feel satisfied.

Nutritional Analysis

When it comes to the nutritional analysis of spaghetti carbonara, there are a few key things to consider. Firstly, the dish is high in fat, thanks to the use of pork jowl (or cured pork) in the recipe. This is what gives spaghetti carbonara its rich, creamy texture and distinctive flavor.

In addition to being high in fat, spaghetti carbonara is also relatively low in protein and fiber. This means that it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a high-protein or high-fiber meal. However, it can still be a delicious and satisfying option when enjoyed in moderation.


If you’re looking to make spaghetti carbonara a bit healthier, there are a few substitutions you can make. For example, you can use turkey bacon or lean ham instead of pork jowl to reduce the fat content. You can also use a combination of Pecorino Romano cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to reduce the overall calorie count.

Another option is to serve your spaghetti carbonara with a side salad or some steamed vegetables to add some extra fiber and nutrients to your meal.

Paper Towels

One final thing to consider when making spaghetti carbonara is the use of paper towels. Some recipes call for the use of paper towels to absorb excess fat from the pork jowl. While this can help to reduce the fat content of the dish, it’s important to be careful when handling hot pans and paper towels to avoid burns or other injuries.


Overall, classic spaghetti carbonara can be a delicious and satisfying meal when enjoyed in moderation. While it may not be the healthiest option out there, there are some substitutions you can make to reduce the fat and calorie content of the dish. And, as with any meal, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes and enjoy your food in a balanced and mindful way.

Susan Wilson

My name is Susan and I am the person behind this blog. My mission is to help you become a better cook and start cooking like a pro! Here we talk about our kitchen adventures – good or bad- so you can laugh or two about it. So let the journey of mastering the ART OF COOKING begin.