Carbonara is a simple dish. The quality of your ingredients make or break it.



  1. Combine the cheese, egg and egg yolks in a bowl, together with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and optionally a dash of whole milk.
  2. Fill a pot with just enough water to be able to cook the spaghetti without it sticking together or burning. Use less salt than you would normally. The aim is starchy water.
  3. Depending on the cooking time of your pasta, you can add it now (8+ minutes and you should be fine). Cook the pasta 1 minute less than advised.
  4. Fry the guanciale in a dry pan on low to medium heat until the sides are crisp but the insides are chewy. Leave the resulting fat in the pan and set the guanciale aside.
  5. When your pasta is almost done, add some tablespoons of the starchy pasta water to your egg/cheese mixture. Mix well, and add more water as needed. An option here is to make a bain-marie over your boiling pasta pot to melt the cheese – this will result in an extremely creamy and well integrated emulsion.
  6. When your pasta is done (-1 minute), remove it to the pan with the fat. Keep it on low heat and mix the fat and spaghetti
  7. Now add the egg/cheese mixture and keep moving and stirring to fully incorporate the sauce. Add pasta water as needed. The carbonara is done when the sauce looks a bit runnier than you would like, as it will start to thicken immediately after leaving the pan. Add the guanciale back in and give it a quick toss to mix. Plate and optionally garnish with grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Voila.


Peter Piontek

Recipe tags: italian pasta quick

Recipe posted on: 2021-03-21, last edited on: 2021-03-21, written by: Sylvain Gauthier