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Pasta Carbonara

Usually I post recipes. Precise measurements, time and temperatures that you should follow for the best result. This carbonara recipe is a recipe-ish. While I have the basic guidelines to follow, trust your instinct here. If the sauce looks too thick, add more pasta water. If you have more pancetta on hand, by alllll means, use it. Never too much pancetta. Even the pasta type -- I prefer bucatini, but Whole Foods in my area didn't have it today. Incredibly disappointing, I know.

My only advice here is to use high quality stuff. Splurge on the local, free range eggs. That bright orange yolk is worth it here. Same with the Parmesan -- don't you dare use anything that comes in a plastic shaker bottle, SPOILER ALERT: THAT'S NOT CHEESE.

The rest is up to your judgement, which I trust will know what looks and tastes right. Enjoy!

Serves 4


2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, at room temperature

2/3 c grated parmesan


Course ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 ounces (about a half cup) of diced pancetta

12 oz spaghetti (about 2/3 the box)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until the fat renders and pancetta browns, but is not crispy.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese and black pepper.

Add pasta to boiling water until al dente. Time will differ depending on pasta type, read package instructions or test for doneness after 2 minutes if fresh pasta.

Before straining, reserve one cup of pasta water in a small bowl. Strain pasta, then reheat pan with pancetta. Add pasta to that pan, along with egg mixture and using tongs, mix until well combined. Add pasta water as needed for a rich and creamy sauce. Serve immediately. Top with grated cheese and more black pepper, with an egg yolk for extra richness if preferred.

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