How To Make Carbonara

Wondering how to make carbonara? Like, a *proper* carbonara? Look no further...

Done in 30 minutes

Serves 4


Dish by Twisted



What you'll need:

320g bucatine OR linguine

200gguanciale OR pancetta, skin removed and cut into 3cm by 1cm chunks

2 largewhole eggs and 6 more yolks

30ggrated parmesan

30grated pecorino

2 tspfreshly ground black pepper

a good pinchsea salt, for the pasta water and a little more for the sauce

You'll notice in the ingredient section there are a few options. Bucatine or linguine? The latter is easier to get hold of, but bucatine thanks to its central hole has a lovely textural bounce. This does however make it a little more delicate. As for the variety of cured pork you can use, guanciale is traditional but might be overpowering to some tastes - it's almost oppressively reminiscent of farmyards and pigs. Pancetta is a little less hardcore. Both of these can be relatively expensive and difficult to source; the supermarket "pancetta" in little plastic tubs isn't pancetta at all. If streaky bacon is all you have to hand it'll do a reasonable job. As for the cooking method, like the fantastic Molly Baz I highly recommend using a double boiler rather than a pan over a direct heat, it's a far more reliable way of getting that beautiful creamy carbonara sauce. Finally, a top tip: twisting the bowl as you add the pasta (rather than the tongs) helps get the nest effect people are into.


Heat a large pan of water to a rolling boil and season it liberally with sea salt. Find a heatproof bowl that will fit over the top of the pot without touching the water beneath - this will be your double boiler in which you thicken the sauce later.

In a frying pan or skillet, very gently fry the guanciale/pancetta//bacon until it's rendered its fat and crisped up nicely. No need to add oil as it's already got a lot of fat. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool down.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it's slightly over al dente and remove it from the water, placing it in the pan with the cooked pork. DON'T THROW AWAY THE PASTA WATER! Take a large cup of the cooking water and set it aside.

Now whisk the eggs, cheese and pepper together in the bowl you're going to place over the still boiling pasta water. Add the pasta and pork along with any fat left in the pan to the bowl and set it back over the simmering pasta water.

Use a pair of tongs to toss the pasta through the egg and cheese mixture, making sure it's constantly moving to prevent the eggs sticking and scrambling. Add splashes of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Keep an eagle eye on the sauce, which can suddenly thicken quite quickly.

At this stage remove the bowl from the heat and plate up the pasta* into the prepared bowls, garnishing with a twist of black pepper.

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