A lot of Italian food is regional -- what you mangi in Milano isn't what you'll find in Florence. But, some dishes are beloved by all Italians. No matter where you travel in Italy, you'll find it. Carbonara is one such classic Italian recipe.
Roman cooks, in particular, have made this comfort food into a marvel that rivals the Colosseum -- transforming guanciale (pork), eggs, cheese and black pepper into one yummy plate of pasta.
Below you'll find my 100% Italian recipe for easy at-home carbonara. We promise: you don't need to travel to Rome to relish authentic pasta alla carbonara.
Click the button below to watch my at-home cooking video:
Keep scrolling down for the printable recipe and ingredient list.
It's simple to master crave-worthy carbonara in your own kitchen.
Here's how simple it is to make carbonara at home.
CARBONARA INGREDIENTS (per person):
- an egg (yolk & white)
- 3 teaspoons of pecorino cheese (you can substitute parmesan)
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper (fresh-ground)
- 2 ounces of guanciale (uncured bacon is fine too)
AT-HOME CARBONARA RECIPE :
Bring a large pot of water to boil on your stove top.
While the water heats to a STEAMING boil, drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil in a separate skillet or frying pan. Heat oil over medium for 1 minute. Then, add the diced guanciale to your pan and continue to cook over medium heat – stirring occasionally. You want the fat from the meat to rend, so it’s important to cook at a medium temperature (and not on high!). Cook the pork for 3-4 minutes – until the fat has turned transparent. Turn off the heat and keep the cooked pork and melted fat in the skillet.
Now, crack the eggs – separating the egg white from the yolk. Put the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. Using a fork, whisk the yolks together with the grated cheese. Then mix in the fresh-ground black pepper. Your yolk-cheese-pepper mixture will be thick and a little lumpy (that’s fine!). If you want a “spicier” dish, use more black pepper.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. You want your pasta STEAMING HOT, so be sure not to run it under cold water. Once cooked, drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with your cooked pork.
Then, mix the cooked pasta, pork and the yolk mixture together – stirring. As a final step, pour in the egg white, continuing to stir. The heat from the hot pasta will melt the cheese and cook the raw egg. ((Chef’s not: do not try to cook the sauce over direct heat or a flame – you’ll end up with scrambled egg spaghetti!))
Serve immediately with a dusting of grated cheese on top!
P.S. If you're curious about the Roman roots of carbonara, check out our article "Where to Find the Best Carbonara in Rome."