Recipe: how to make real Pasta alla Carbonara

So it’s been a week since my lovely weekend in Milano and my fridge is still full of parmigiano and pancetta…

So… of course, that calls for a real italian meal: Pasta alla Carbonara. My recipe comes from an article I once read online. If you understand french, go read it, seriously, it’s hilarious. If not, I’m going to translate the main idea (and the recipe, of course).

Quick question, before you go on reading: what ingredients do you use in your carbonara?

… come on.

Does it involve cream? Bacon dice? May be even onions?


When I was a student, I made all these mistakes. I also had once one of my friends preparing it with tomatoes (no, don’t do that, I don’t know where it came from but seriously…). Anyway, since I read this article, I always prepare it that way and talked with Italians that told me that, yes, that was the traditional recipe.

So, here, just for you, I’m gonna present the real recipe. And then I’m gonna present my version, if you want to give the recipe a little twist (with all due respect to the Italians)(don’t hate me).

Recipe: how to make real Pasta alla Carbonara


  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of pastas/person (spaghetti, tagliatelle or lasagnette)(don’t argue, those are the only kind that are tolerated)(and pick an italian brand)
  • Egg yolk (1 per person + 1 for the recipe)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano/Gran Padano or pecorino (whole, you’ll grate it in the recipe)
  • Guanciale or pancetta (arrotolata ou affumicata)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Take a BIG pan and fill it with water. The pastas want room to swirl around. Don’t add salt yet. Wait for the water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolk from the white (a few tips are in this article). Keep the yolks and add a bit of salt and pepper. Add the cheese you just grated. Whip the mixture for 5 minutes (add a bit of the pastas water to help make it foamy).
  3. At some point, when the water is boiling, cook the pastas al dente. You can subtract one minute to the given time on the box.
  4. Heat a spoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the pancetta or the guanciale until it turns golden. Add pepper if you like it.
  5. Once the pastas are ready, add them to the egg/parmigiano mixture and mix them carefully.
  6. Serve the pastas in a soup plate. You can grate some more parmigiano on top. Then add the pancetta.

Buon appetito 🙂


My version for tonight:

The thing with carbonara is that it tastes really good, but at some point, you want to try something new 🙂 So I did the recipe you read above, but I used another kind of pastas: they are mixed with turmeric and poppy seeds I bought in an organic store we have in France (La Vie Claire, for those interested).

Also, a cooking tip the boyfriend told me his italian grandmother did: when cooking pastas, keep the parmigiano rind and let it cook in the pasta water. It’s delicious!




3 thoughts on “Recipe: how to make real Pasta alla Carbonara

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