Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe


Serves 2

  • 80g guanciale, finely diced

  • 1 egg, whisked

  • 100g pecorino, grated

  • 2 tablespoon peppercorns

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife

  • 100g spaghetti or spaghettini

What you need to do

  • First, let's talk about guanciale. Guanciale is a type of Italian cured pork, which literally translates to “cheek of a pig”. You can make this recipe with pancetta or bacon, but if you can get your hands on some guanciale, it’s definitely worth it. Sydney-siders – I get mine from Ocello in Surry Hills, or Leichhardt Harris Farm.

  • To begin, finely dice the guanciale, discarding the tough skin on the edge of the cut.

  • Next, crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.

  • Sift your crushed peppercorns. This will seperate the strong, powdery part of the pepper from the milder shells. Discard the shells.

  • In a large, cold (not yet over heat) non stick pan, add the guanciale, crushed garlic and half the pepper. Turn on the heat, keeping it on a very low temperature. This will allow the fat to render out instead of drying up. After a few minutes, you'll notice the fatty parts of the gunaciale turn transparent.

  • While the guanciale is melting down, put the spaghetti on the boil. You only want to cook it until it's al dente, which should take around 6 minutes.

  • Slowly, but surely, your guanciale will cook to a crisp. If your guanciale is done before your pasta, keep it together to the edge of your pan. This will stop it from drying out.

  • Remove your garlic from the pan.

  • When the pasta is done, grab a pair of tongs and scoop it into your pan. Letting a little water enter the pan is good. It'll emulsify with the guanciale fat, creating the "creamy" feel of the pasta. In fact, when you're done transferring the pasta, continue adding a few splashes of water.

  • While you do this you'll hear a sizzling sound. Keep tossing the pasta until it stops. 

  • At this point, and no sooner, add your egg. (Doing this too early can cause it to scramble)

  • Add your grated cheese and toss it though.

  • If you've got a good bottle of wine handy, crack it. This one's worth celebrating.

Traditional Carbonara Recipe - Guanciale
Traditional Carbonara Recipe - Sifting Pepper
Traditional Carbonara Recipe - Frying Guanciale
Traditional Carbonara Recipe - Crispy Guanciale
Traditional Carbonara Recipe - Tossing Pasta
Traditional Carbonara Recipe - No cream finish
Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe.jpg
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