7 oz. (200 g) pig's cheek lard (Guanciale) or Italian Pancetta
3.5 oz (100 g) Pecorino cheese
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
12 oz. (350 g) spaghetti
Spaghetti Carbonara is among the most widespread Italian dishes in the World. Authentic spaghetti carbonara does not contain any kind of milk or cream, yet outside Italy you often get it served with a thick cream sauce, even in some restaurants. Egg yolks and flavorful Pecorino cheese melt together in the authentic version thanks to the own heat of the pasta, forming a rich, creamy sauce.
Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara recipe
Authentic spaghetti carbonara contains raw eggs. Make this dish only at your own risk, and be sure to use only fresh eggs from a reliable source!
Cut Guanciale into pieces of 1/2 inch or 1 cm. For the best result, you may have to use Italian pig’s cheek lard (Guanciale), or Pancetta. You can find them in larger supermarkets or Italian specialty food stores, or simply use good quality cured bacon (of curse it won’t be authentic, but it will still be a good carbonara).
Put the Guanciale in a saucepan, and start browning it on low heat.
Start browning the guanciale/pancetta in a saucepan
Start boiling water in a large pot. When it’s boiling, add salt and spaghetti and cook it al dente. Pay attention to how much salt you use, Guanciale and Pancetta are very salty.
In the meantime, make the “sauce” for your authentic spaghetti carbonara. Put 4 yolks and one whole egg in a large bowl.
Put 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg in a large bowl
Add grated Pecorino cheese. You can substitute this with Parmigiano Reggiano. Add salt and pepper to taste (again, be careful with the salt).
Add pecorino cheese, salt and pepper
Mix the egg and pecorino with a hand beater in the bowl.
Mix the egg and pecorino cheese with a hand beater
When the guanciale is crisp and brown, put it in a plate and let it cool.
Crisp and brown guanciale
Once the guanciale reached room temperature, add it to the egg-pecorino mix and stir. You don’t want to make this while the Guanciale is hot, as you don’t want scrambled eggs.
Add the guanciale to the egg-pecorino mix
Once the pasta is ready, you have to work fast. The sauce of authentic spaghetti carbonara is basically eggs and pecorino cheese forming a rich, creamy sauce by the heat of the spaghetti. Be it too cold, you won’t get a real sauce. Be it too hot, and you get spaghetti with scrambled eggs. Drain the spaghetti and toss it in the egg-pecorino mix.
How to serve authentic spaghetti carbonara
Following this recipe you can make perfect, flavorful and authentic spaghetti carbonara at home, ready in 25 minutes. Flavors of the salty and smoky guanciale and the premium pecorino cheese melt together to form a rich, creamy sauce on the pasta. Sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese and serve it warm.
Spaghetti carbonara is a high calorie-content comfort food which is best served in cold, rainy days.