View Full Version : Spaghetti Carbonara - Revisited

03-01-2009, 10:29 PM
I posted this on the other board and was quickly "corrected" by a true Roman (this is a Roman dish) about the authenticity of my ingredients. He explained that true carbonara uses Pecorino Romano vs. parmaggiano regiano and uses something called guanciale vs. pancetta. I didn't want to argue with him and tell him I've eaten this dish in Rome many times with pancetta but I did want to find this guanciale stuff he mentioned which is a cured pork jowl. Finally last weekend I found it and made it tonight. It's a great bulking meal although a bit shy on protein. You can easily cube up some chicken and cook that along with the guanciale/pancetta to up the protein.

The guanciale definitely gives it a different taste. It's got a smokier bacon flavor but not quite bacon. Much stronger and more flavorful. Very good.

Spaghetti Carbonara


* 1 lb of thick spaghetti (can use regular spaghetti, fettucini or any long noodle)
* 1/4 lb diced guanciale (you can also use pancetta or regular strip bacon)
* 4 eggs
* heavy cream (I omitted this in this version)
* Pecorino Romano cheese (can also use Parmeggiano Reggiano)
* pepper

While the water is boiling, dice the guanciale and set inside a large sauteing skillet. In a separate bowl, mix the four eggs and a liberal amount of pepper. Add in a few good pinches of the Romano cheese.

Add the pasta to the water and cook the guanciale on med/high heat. Do this at the same time since about the time the pasta is done, so will the guanciale be browned. When the pasta is just shy of being done, add a bit of the pasta water to the skillet with the guanciale and then add the pasta to the skillet. Let the pasta finish cooking in the skillet while mixing the guanciale throughout.

When done, transfer from the skillet to a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and mix thoroughly. It's important to do this part off the burner since you don't want the eggs to scramble when they hit the hot pasta. Transferring to a bowl first cools the pasta down just enough so this doesn't happen. Top with some more cheese and eat.

03-01-2009, 10:35 PM
I'm going to start collecting these for when I finish my diet.

03-16-2009, 04:52 AM
I like to add in shallots and garlic to mine as well as mushrooms. Might not be true to the roots but sure taste good. I don't use cream either.