Spaghetti Carbonara is thought to originate in the Lazio region of Italy, first made for the carbonari (charcoal workers) and is an authentic recipe, now popular the world over. Perhaps one of the easiest and quickest Italian pasta recipes, a Spaghetti Carbonara can be rustled up at home for a tasty week night supper.
In Genaro’s authentic recipe, he uses guanchiale (pig cheek) rather than the pancetta that we might use at home, however pancetta is a perfectly acceptable substitute if you don’t have a good Italian deli near to you.
Although British versions of this dish often include cream, Gennaro’s classic recipe uses just seasoned pasta water, fresh egg yolks and pecorino cheese to create that delicious, creamy texture that you will know and love.
Gennaro has fond memories of eating Carbonara in the backstreet trattorie of Italy’s capital city, Rome. With so much to see and do in the Eternal City, including the Vatican, Colosseum, Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum, Rome makes a perfect destination for a city break, not to mention the ideal introduction to Italy for first time visitors.
4 x servings
1 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200g piece Guanciale (pork cheek), roughly chopped into small strips
4 x large free-range egg yolks
75g grated pecorino & extra for sprinkling
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until “al dente.”
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, add the guanciale and on a medium heat stir fry until crispy.
In a small bowl beat egg yolks with pecorino, some salt & pepper. Set aside.
Drain the spaghetti, reserving some of the pasta water, add the spaghetti to the pan of guanciale, with a little of the pasta water and mix well. Remove pan from the heat, stir in the egg mixture, adding more cooking water if necessary. Serve immediately with some grated pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.