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  • Writer's pictureLaura Duke

Carbonara : How to Make Rome's Most Famous Dish, the Right Way.

Carbonara : A love affair...

When it comes to Italian cuisine, there are few dishes more iconic than carbonara. This creamy pasta dish is a favorite among both tourists and locals in Rome, and for good reason – it's delicious! But while carbonara may seem like a simple dish, there's actually a lot of nuance to getting it right. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps of making perfect carbonara every time. So read on and start cooking!

Romantic relationships are cool, but have you heard of Carbonara?

There is something about Carbonara that just makes my taste buds happy. It could be the creamy sauce with the salty bacon and Parmesan cheese, or maybe it is the pasta itself that is so perfect for soaking up all of that goodness.

No matter what it is, I know that I can always count on Carbonara to satisfy my cravings. And when I am in Rome - which is where Carbonara was born,- I am in Carbonara heaven.

There are all sorts of variations on the classic Carbonara recipe, but I have yet to find one that I don't love. From creamy Carbonara with pancetta to a lighter version with smoked salmon, I am happy no matter what type I am eating.

So why is Carbonara so delicious? There are a lot of reasons, but for me, it comes down to two things: the perfect combination of flavors and textures, and the fact that it is always satisfying. No matter what mood I am in, or how hungry I am, a bowl of Carbonara always hits the spot. When it comes to making authentic roman carbonara, there are a few key ingredients that you'll need. The first is guanciale, which is a type of bacon made from pork jowl or cheek. It's got a lot of flavor and a slightly sweet taste, which makes it perfect for this dish. Guanciale can be a little hard to find, but it's definitely worth tracking down. The other key ingredient is pecorino romano cheese. This cheese is made from sheep milk and has a salty, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the bacon and eggs. Lastly, you'll need some eggs, garlic, black pepper, and salt. These ingredients will help to create a creamy and delicious carbonara sauce.

Once you have all of the ingredients, simply follow these simple steps:

Carbonara: The Roman Way


  • Kosher salt (see notes)

  • 1 pound (450g) dried spaghetti (I prefer bucatini)

  • 1/2 cup diced guanciale, pancetta, or bacon

  • 3 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 whole large eggs plus 6 yolks

  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (ground medium-coarse), plus more for serving


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until al dente.

  2. Meanwhile, combine guanciale (or pancetta or bacon) with 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil in a large skillet and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until fat has rendered and guanciale is crisp, about 7 minutes.

  3. In a large, metal heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together whole eggs and yolks, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and black pepper.

  4. Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet with crisped guanciale and its fat; be sure not to drain boiling pasta water. Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil to pasta and stir to combine; let cool slightly. Scrape pasta, pork, and all the fat into the egg mixture. Measure 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta-cooking water and add to pasta and egg mixture. Stir well to combine.

  5. Set mixing bowl over pot of boiling pasta water (make sure bottom of bowl does not touch the water) and cook stirring continuously, until sauce thickens to a creamy, silky consistency and leaves trails as you stir. Remove from heat, season with salt if needed, and divide into bowls. Serve right away, topping with more grated cheese and freshly ground pepper as desired.

Notes: It is easy to accidentally make this too salty so - be careful! Do not over salt the water since the other ingredients are already salty.


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