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How to Make Spaghetti alla Carbonara: the Roman Way

How to make Spaghetti alla Carbonara the Roman way

Ask any Roman what dish their city specialises in, and they’ll undoubtedly confess their love for an authentic Roman Spaghetti alla Carbonara! This choice falls in line with so many other Roman classics: poor food. Even back in the 1900s when the Romans were limited to the simplest seasonal and regional ingredients of local farms, they got creative – and that’s how the carbonara was born! As a result, the ideal Spaghetti alla Carbonara is loaded with fresh flavour, rich in protein, affordable, and much easier to make than you’d expect! Just follow our recipe and try to refrain from any unnecessary “add-ons” as the real Roman way is all about perfect balance and simplicity.


  • 10 oz. Guanciale, or “pork cheek”, cut into ¼” cubes (Can be replaced with pancetta, or “pork belly” in desperate situations, but don’t tell the Romans)
  • 16 oz. (1 lb) dried Italian spaghetti (rigatoni is another popular choice)
  • 2 Large Eggs (Add a third egg yolk for extra creaminess)
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • Black pepper (to taste, but be generous)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Cook Guanciale (or Pancetta) in pan on medium-high heat with ¼ cup dry white wine, stirring regularly. When fully cooked (approximately 10 minutes) remove pan from heat and cool.
  2. Boil Spaghetti (or Rigatoni) in salted water according to package instructions (Be careful not to overcook it, firm pasta is more traditional)
  3. Add eggs and pepper to the cooled pan with Guanciale and mix (do not put on heat yet).
  4. When pasta is cooked, strain it and add it to the pan with the other ingredients. Mix, then place on medium-high heat for 10 seconds, mixing continuously.
  5. Remove pan from flame and add grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Mix evenly throughout.
  6. Serve pasta immediately. Garnish with extra cheese and fresh parsley.


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