The classic Italian - Spaghetti alla Carbonara literally means "Spaghetti in the Manner of the Charcoal Maker". Some believe that the dish was once popular with Charcoal makers who lived on the Mountains near Rome because the ingredients were easily portable and cooking was fairly uncomplicated. Others believe the dish derives its name from all the freshly ground pepper that is added to the spaghetti at the last minute. Actually, the origin of the dish is quite recent, since it was unknown before Second World War. The dish uses pancetta or guanciale, which are similar to bacon. If you want to stay true to the Roman heritage of the dish, you must use grated Pecorino Romano cheese, but it can be substituted by Pecorino sardo or Parmesan. A mix of the two cheeses is also common.


Spaghetti alla carbonara
Electus
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:716
Ready in:25 minutes
Prep. time:10 minutes
Cook time:15 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:25th October 2012

Best recipe review

A household staple

4.7/5

We have this weekly - with LOTS of Parmesan

Carla

Ingredients

Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

Method

  1. Boil 4.5 litres (8 pints) of water in a large pot and add 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  2. Add the spaghetti and cook for ten minutes - timed once it returns to the boil
  3. Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into bite-size pieces
  4. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat, add the oil and pancetta and fry for a few minutes
  5. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for long enough to colour the garlic, being careful not to burn it. Set aside
  6. Drain the spaghetti then pour into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic, parsley and a little splash of olive oil
  7. Stir in the beaten eggs and half of the grated cheese and mix together well
  8. Season with a little salt and black pepper

Serving suggestions

Serve hot, garnished with the remaining grated cheese

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