Classic Spaghetti carbonara

Don't use cream in this traditional carbonara for a beautifully rich bowl of pasta
By Gary Rhodes
Classic Spaghetti carbonara
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2 as a starter
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 10 thin slices guanciale (cured pigs cheek) or 50g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 100 g spaghetti
  • 50 g pecorino cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 50 g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk


1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and gently fry the slices of guanciale or pancetta until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper. Reserve the fat in the pan.

2. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for 8-10 minutes until al dente.

3. Meanwhile, mix the whole egg and egg yolk together, add the cheeses and plenty of black pepper. Loosen with 2-3 tablespoons of the spaghetti cooking water.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water to the fat in the pan and allow it to simmer.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the frying pan. Toss thoroughly in the pan juices.

6. Season the egg mixture lightly with salt and add to the pasta. Immediately turn off the heat and toss well, adding more water to loosen, if necessary, and more cheese if desired. The sauce should be smooth and silky, not scrambled.

7. Transfer the pasta to serving bowls, scatter the guanciale or pancetta on top and sprinkle over some extra cheese.

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