Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara: Ready in 15 Minutes


Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara


A Brief History

Traditional carbonara’s origins are somewhat mysterious, with several theories surrounding its creation. One widely accepted legend suggests that the dish was popularized by Italian charcoal workers (carbonai) in the Apennine mountains. They used readily available ingredients like eggs, cheese, pancetta, and pepper to create a hearty, nourishing meal during their breaks. Over time, this humble dish made its way to the bustling streets of Rome and became the iconic pasta we know today.

Key Ingredients

The beauty of traditional carbonara lies in its simplicity. Here are the key ingredients that make it so special:

  1. Pasta: Typically, spaghetti or rigatoni is used, cooked al dente to perfection.

  2. Eggs: Fresh eggs, usually egg yolks, form the creamy base of the sauce.

  3. Pancetta or Guanciale: These Italian cured meats provide a rich, savory flavor that’s quintessential to carbonara.

  4. Pecorino Romano Cheese: This aged sheep’s milk cheese adds a sharp and salty kick to the dish. There’s a bit of controversy if whether to add Parmigiano Reggiano – I think yes!

  5. Black Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper gives carbonara its signature spiciness.

The Preparation

Traditional carbonara is a testament to the idea that the simplest dishes often require the most finesse. Here’s how to prepare it:

  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil your pasta until it’s al dente, then drain it.

  2. Sauté Pancetta or Guanciale: In a pan, crisp up your pancetta or guanciale until it’s golden brown. Remove from heat and set it aside.

  3. Whisk the Eggs: In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and a generous amount of black pepper.

  4. Combine: Toss the drained pasta in the egg and cheese mixture until it’s evenly coated. Add the crispy pancetta or guanciale, and give it a good stir.

  5. Serve Immediately: Plate up your traditional carbonara immediately, adding an extra sprinkle of Pecorino Romano and black pepper for that final touch.

The Magic of Traditional Carbonara

The magic of traditional carbonara lies in its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. When these elements come together, you’re treated to a dish that’s rich, creamy, and bursting with flavor. It’s a comforting meal that transports you straight to the heart of Italy.

In conclusion, traditional carbonara is a culinary masterpiece that has stood the test of time. Its history, basic ingredients, and meticulous preparation make it an Italian classic that’s cherished around the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, trying your hand at this dish is a delightful way to experience the essence of Italian cuisine. Buon appetito!

Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara

Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara: Ready in 15 Minutes | Chef Shearso

Indulge in the authentic flavours of Rome with our traditional Spaghetti Carbonara recipe. This classic Italian dish features perfectly cooked pasta, crispy pancetta, rich Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses, and a creamy egg sauce. It's the true essence of Italian comfort food, prepared just like they do it in Rome.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people


  • 1 Large stainless steel pan Large non-stick works as well
  • 1 Large pot For the pasta


  • 1/2 box spaghetti I used 'President's Choice' Wholegrain Spaghetti
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated pecorino Use the "stamp" part of a box grater for best results.
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano Use the "stamp" part of a box grater for best results.
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper I used a regular pepper grinder.
  • 100 grams guanciale
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup pasta water Reserve one cup of pasta water once pasta is almost al dente.


  • Mix together eggs, finely grated Pecorino, finely grated Parmigiano, & ground pepper together in a bowl until a paste is formed. Set aside.
  • Boil a pot of water & add 1/2 package of ‘President’s Choice’ Wholegrain Spaghetti.
  • In a large, cold, stainless steel pan, add your sliced guanciale, garlic clove, then set the heat to medium. Cook for about 6-7 minutes or until crispy. Do not burn.
  • Set guanciale aside, throw out the garlic clove, and turn off the heat.** Very important to turn the heat off.
  • Once the spaghetti is al dente, directly add the spaghetti to stainless steel pan that has the residual oil from guanciale. Add the the egg-cheese mixture (from the first instruction) on top of spaghetti and mix together with tongs.
  • Ladle in pasta water, a spoonful at a time, until the pasta is your ideal texture.
  • Add in about 3 quarters of your gaunciale and toss until fully combined.
  • Serve with more crispy guanciale on top, extra cheese, and extra pepper.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword carbonara, dinner, easy dinner, italian food, pasta, spaghetti, spaghetti carbonara, traditional carbonara

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