One of the all time pasta greats, this dish is a timeless classic. I remember trying it Rome many moons ago and being floored by how wrong i’d always made it. The traditional Italian way is actually very light on sauce and typically I used to drench mine in a thick cheesy, dressing but after tasting that lighter, more sophisticated approach I was immediately converted.
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves of Garlic crushed/grated
- 1 large strip of Pancetta (you can get this from most Italian Deli’s) or use pre-chopped pancetta pieces
- 4 large Eggs
- 100g Pecorino Romano Cheese if you like a strong tangy flavour, or use Parmesan if you prefer more of a nutty milder flavour
- 1 large handful of flat leaf parsley
- 250g pasta of your choice – (traditionally it would be spaghetti, but I like penne!)
- Sea Salt Flakes
- Black Pepper
The first thing you want to do is get your pasta cooking, so heat a large pan of water to the boil and then add in some salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Add your pasta and allow to boil for 9-11 minutes.
While your pasta is cooking chop up the pancetta into large chunks (the size of xxxx
Heat up a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, add ½ Tbsp Olive Oil & the garlic and fry the pancetta pieces. While your pancetta is cooking keep an eye on your pasta – make sure it is still bubbling!
Stir the pancetta fairly regularly to avoid it burning – you want it to get crispy but not burnt so roughly 5 minutes. Once you’re happy with how the pancetta looks remove from the pan and drain in a bowl with some kitchen roll to soak up some of the excess oil/fat.
The pasta should be cooked now – so just test it to make sure it tastes ok. If it is cooked to your liking drain the pasta, but keep aside 1 cup of the pasta water.
Now in a large bowl crack in your eggs, add in the cheese and pancetta and give it a good mix. Then pour in your cooked pasta – it should still be steaming hot to cook the eggs! Mix it all together quickly, ensuring all the pasta is coated. Add in a few spoonfulls of the reserved pasta water – you can add as much as you like, depending how much of a sauce you want.
Finally add a generous amount of black pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt flakes & all of the chopped parsley, mix well & serve!
- If you struggle with timings you can always cook the pancetta ahead and use it once ready.
- If you prefer a bit more of a creamy carbonara you can add 1-2 Tbsp. double cream to the egg mixture – this isn’t traditional, but it can be nice.
- Make sure you taste the Carbonara before serving – if it isn’t quite how you like it maybe you need to add some more cheese, or black pepper.
Meet the Author
My name is Georgie and I LOVE all things food. It marks most occasions and life events in some way for me – family celebrations where a bake off will almost certainly be on the cards, travelling the world to seek out culinary sensational overloads, a night out being wined & dined or just being in my kitchen; my favourite place at home and working those creative muscles.Learn more