Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a beloved classic of Italian cuisine. Originating from Rome, this delectable pasta dish has become a global favourite, celebrated for its simplicity and indulgence.

The exact origins of Spaghetti alla Carbonara are a subject of debate, but many believe it emerged during the mid-20th century. Some say it was created by charcoal workers (carbonai), while others attribute it to American soldiers stationed in Italy during World War II. 

A harmonious marriage of pasta, eggs, cheese, and guanciale (cured pork cheek), the essence of Carbonara lies in the creamy sauce created by whisking eggs and Pecorino Romano cheese. Add the cured pork to provide a savoury and salty punch and you have a truly sumptuous sauce to pair with your pasta.

When it comes to choosing the ideal pasta shape for Carbonara, we think the thin long strands of spaghetti are the perfect match – although any thin, ribboned pasta like tagliatelle or bucatini works nicely.

Our spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Calories per serving: 400-600


  • 350g spaghetti 
  • 150g guanciale, diced 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the spaghetti and set it aside. 
  3. Cook the guanciale in a skillet over medium heat until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Remove it from the pan and set it aside. Leave the rendered fat in the skillet. Find out how to cut and prepare guanciale here.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Be sure to combine everything thoroughly to create a creamy mixture.
  5. While the cooked pasta is still hot, return it to the pot. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta and toss vigorously to coat the spaghetti evenly. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs into a luscious, creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water and continue to toss until you achieve a silky consistency. 
  6. Gently fold in the crispy guanciale pieces, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the pasta. 
  7. Transfer the Spaghetti alla Carbonara to individual plates. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Finish with an extra sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese and a dash of black pepper. Buon appetito!

What ingredients shouldn’t you put in spaghetti alla Carbonara?

Everyone loves a classic Carbonara, but with so many variations out there it’s important not to stray too far from the original authentic recipe. Here are some things to avoid:

Cream: Although, you may think of Carbonara as being incredibly creamy, that texture doesn’t come from cream but instead from egg yolks and cheese. Adding cream or milk dilutes the flavours and the authentic Italian taste we love so much.

Garlic: To create that unique flavour profile it’s important to avoid both garlic and onions. Both have a powerful and sometimes overwhelming taste, and it’s best to leave it up to the guanciale and pecorino to create that smoky and bold flavour.

Pancetta or Bacon: To be truly authentic, you should use guanciale over bacon or pancetta. Guanciale has a very distinct taste and is both stronger in flavour and softer in texture than pancetta.

Parmesan: It’s best to use Pecorino Romano cheese in a carbonara, as it has a robust and salty taste that adds depth and complexity. Its sharp, tangy notes contrast beautifully with the creamy sauce, creating a harmonious balance of flavours.

Which wines pair well with spaghetti alla Carbonara?

Carbonara is best paired with oaky whites and light reds. We would recommend a crisp and refreshing pinot grigio, which will work nicely with the creamy yet smoky flavours of the pecorino and guanciale. Another great alternative is Kiruna Montepulcano D’Abruzzo.

Whether you're sharing this classic Italian masterpiece with loved ones or savouring it solo, the rich, creamy, and savoury symphony of flavours is sure to leave you feeling satisfied. If you’re looking for a relaxed night in with a bowl of spaghetti, why not try out our Carbonara Bundle?

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