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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

overhead shot of a plate of carbonara

Photo by Alejandro Aznar on

Is it World Carbonara Day again so soon?!? It seems just like yesterday when we were celebrating, perhaps, the most unctuous of Roman pastas...Or maybe it was just yesterday when we were talking about and/or eating Carbonara. In fact, I was just talking about Carbonara yesterday with a friend who swears that the fine-dining Italian restaurant in New York City where she, an Italian, had lunch served her Carbonara with cream. She was sad; I was stunned. I mean, how could any respectable restaurant in New York City serve Carbonara with cream?

The beauty of Carbonara is the creaminess that comes from blending spaghetti clung with pasta water into a bowl of eggs and Pecorino, creating a consistency that is the kind of heavenly creamy that cream itself can only aspire.

OK, I'm not one to go bonkers over pasta violations, nor am I going to call the Carbonara Carabinieri (they exist!) on this so-called upscale establishment in Manhattan, but I do want to point out - especially on World Carbonara Day - that the magic of Carbonara (not to mention the fun) is in the process of creating a sublime creaminess from cheese and eggs and starchy water. Watch below how much fun Cara Di Falco and I have making Spaghetti Carbonara on her Emmy-nominated cooking show Cara's Cucina. Try this at home and save the cream for your coffee.

Andrew's Carbonara Recipe

Andrew's Carbonara Recipe

Recipe by Andrew Cotto
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 lb. 1 spaghetti

  • 2 2 egg yolks

  • 2 2 eggs (whites included)

  • 8 oz. 8 guanciale, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 cup 1 pecorino romano, grated

  • black pepper


  • Heat a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the guanciale. Allow the fat to render out of the meat, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the guanciale from the pan and reserve the liquid fat.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until almost al dente (typically 8-9 minutes for dried pasta).
  • While pasta is cooking, whisk cheese and eggs together in a heat proof bowl until a thick cream is created. When pasta is cooked, do not drain it, but transfer it in a small batch to the bowl with the eggs, using tongs to gently turn the pasta and coat it as you go. Continue until all the pasta is in the bowl, allowing some of the pasta water to drip in as well. You should have a smooth, creamy sauce that completely coats your pasta. (TIP: If you end up with scrambled eggs, a little extra water should help “unscramble them.”. If the sauce looks too thin, adding some more cheese can help thicken it.)
  • Plate the pasta. Add the cooked guanciale on top and drizzle with a teaspoon of pork fat. Top with extra cheese and cracked black pepper.

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