Spaghetti Carbonara – Homemade Traditonal Italian Recipe

Carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta sauce. Its name comes from carbone, which is Italian for coal, and many believe the dish derives its name because it was popular among charcoal makers. Others believe, however, that the dish is called carbonara simply because of the black, freshly milled pepper that is used.The original Roman recipe is made from eggs, parmigiano reggiano, pecorino romano, guanciale (unsmoked pig cheeks), black pepper, and either strutto, olive oil or butter. Cream is not an ingredient in the original recipe, and is not generally used with pasta in central Italy.

The Anglo-American carbonara recipe is made from cream, eggs, parmesan cheese (sometimes with pecorino romano cheese), and pancetta (or some other type of bacon). Some American recipes add salt, pepper (white or black), and/or garlic to taste; with peas added for color.

In both versions of the recipe, the eggs are added to the sauce raw, and cook with the heat of the pasta itself. source :

This is my version of the traditional Italian recipe.

The cheese I used was pecorino romano. First make some finely grated pecorino romano and set aside.

Pan-fry some chopped pancetta dolce in extra virgin olive oil. Straightly speaking, guanciale should be used instead of pancetta in the traditional Roman recipe, but since guanciale was not availabe, pancetta is an acceptable alternative.

In the mean time, boil some spaghetti in salted water and make sure you time it according to the instruction to make it al dente. Drain the spaghetti and mix it in a hot bowl or dish with the pancetta dolce, olive oil and grated pecorino romano. Lastly, add an egg yolk per person’s serving and mix together.

For style, I put an egg yolk in the middle of the spaghetti and let the guest stir in the egg themselves.

Of course you can always stir in the egg yolk before serving it.

Finally, sprinkle some freshly grounded black pepper to serve.


15 thoughts on “Spaghetti Carbonara – Homemade Traditonal Italian Recipe

  1. Mama Mia!!!

    Is there anything you CANNOT do??

    Thanks for the recipe and preparation steps. Hmmm… Any suggestion on wine with this? πŸ™‚

    First, it’s Canon God…

    Now, it’s Iron Chef Hong Kong!!


  2. Man, you are mean! It is too early for yummy food. is going to be a long day. My stomach is already growling. And it is not even close to noon yet. Thanks a lot. πŸ™‚

    Very lovely shot with too darn excellence description. Now I know what I want for lunch. Thanks.. πŸ™‚


  3. Your pics are awesome. The food looks so great (even though it is so simple)……Great pics. Really nice πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Roland, accidentally knock to your website. Spent the whole day reading, was really informative and cool!

    A question not related to food… Which lense and what is the mode you used to snap food & beverage photos?



  5. If you find yourself in a bind with no guanciale or pancetta, you can take smoked bacon and boil it in water for a few minutes to leech out some of the salt and smoke flavoring, this will give you a result that is closer to pancetta, although some people like carbonara with regular bacon, and this has become popular even in some parts of Italy.

    I’ve also seen a recipe from Marcella Hazan (the patron saint of Italian cooking in America) and she uses white wine to deglaze the pan after cooking the bacon, and this really adds another level of flavor to an already amazing dish.

    I like the trick of leaving the egg yolk whole on top of the served plate to allow a more interactive experience for the diner. This is not the first time I’ve seen this done, but I really love the idea.

    Also your photography is really well done, and I enjoyed the visual appeal of your photographs with the recipe. Nicely done.

  6. This is the most enlightening carbonara recipe I’ve ever come across. Thank you, I have made this twice since finding it only 2 weeks ago and it’s gorgeous. There is a restaurant near me that serves carbonara very much like this and it is great to be able to do something as near as damn it at home.

    Great pictures too!

  7. Hi Roland

    I am a British guy living in Beijing currently in Shenzhen on assignment

    would be nice to see you in HKL if you have time for a cofffee

    I plan to buy a canon s95 weekend of 28th May

    Paul Taylor

    PS I used to live in HK and especially love sai Kung and its amazing nature

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