Traditional Carbonara Recipe

Delicious spaghetti alla carbonara, a traditional Roman recipe of pasta topped with egg, guanciale strips, pecorino and black pepper sauce | Alessio Orru

There’s something magical about making a traditional Carbonara. It’s a dish that transports you straight to the heart of Italy with every bite. I remember the first time I tasted an authentic Carbonara in a quaint Roman trattoria; the simplicity and richness of the flavors were unforgettable. Today, I’m excited to share this traditional recipe with you, ensuring it includes only the classic ingredients.

Traditional Carbonara Recipe

4 Servings


  • 200g of Guanciale (pork cheek)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g of spaghetti
  • Salt (for pasta water)


  1. Prepare the Guanciale: Cut the guanciale into small strips. Heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the guanciale until it becomes crispy. Remove the pan from heat and set aside, keeping the rendered fat in the pan.
  2. Cook the Pasta: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve about a cup of pasta water before draining the spaghetti.
  3. Mix the Eggs and Cheese: In a bowl, whisk the eggs and mix in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese until well combined.
  4. Combine Everything: Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan with the guanciale. Toss to coat the pasta in the rendered fat. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly pour in the egg and cheese mixture, tossing vigorously to create a creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Season and Serve: Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of Pecorino Romano on top.

Serving Suggestions

Pair your Carbonara with a crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or a light red like Chianti. For a complete Italian meal, consider serving a simple green salad on the side.

There’s a certain joy in sharing a meal with loved ones, and this Carbonara is sure to bring smiles to the table. I invite you to try this recipe and share your experiences. Buon appetito!