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5 from 2 votes

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

A super simple Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe made with guanciale, eggs, and Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a traditional Italian recipe so there's no cream involved yet it's still super creamy, rich and delicious.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 741kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 15 oz spaghetti (425g)
  • 3 large eggs free range
  • cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (30g)
  • 1 cup guanciale cut into cubes (150g)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more for serving


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti, cook until al dente (around 7-8 minutes, check packet instructions).
  • Meanwhile, add the guanciale to a hot skillet and fry until brown and crispy then turn off the heat (do not drain the fat).
  • While the guanciale is frying add the eggs, parmesan and pepper to a bowl, whisk until well combined.
  • Once the pasta is ready, remove it with kitchen tongs to the skillet with the guanciale and toss so it's well combined in the fat.
  • Next, add the egg mixture whilst tossing the pasta to ensure the eggs don't scramble. Once the sauce turns glossy and creamy it's ready, add extra parmesan and pepper to serve.



  • Make sure the skillet or frying pan isn't super hot by turning it off a few minutes before adding the egg mixture. If the skillet is too hot the eggs will scramble!
  • If you don't have guanciale then pancetta or thick-cut bacon will also work well.
  • Make sure to cut off the dark outer layer (skin/rind) of the guanciale before cutting into cubes.
  • Don't drain any fat from the guanciale or pancetta it adds a ton of flavour to the pasta.
  • If you're using pancetta or bacon with less fat content then you might need a little olive oil to fry it.
  • I don't add salt to anything other than the pasta water because the guanciale and Parmigiano Reggiano add a lot of seasoning but taste before serving and add extra salt to taste.
  • Try to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (or both) for best flavour, pre-grated stuff doesn't taste great.
  • No Spaghetti? You can use any pasta you have on hand although a long pasta shape will work best.
  • If you are draining the pasta rather than removing it with tongs make sure to reserve ¼ cup of pasta water, you may need it to loosen the spaghetti before adding the egg.


Calories: 741kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 2mg