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Bucatini alla carbonara

It is very rare to find the true carbonara. Most versions nowadays include cream, white wine, salmon instead of guanciale and so on. The original recipe is from the Lazio region. Traditionally bucatini are used, a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. In local dialect these are called perciatelli, meaning “the little pierced ones”.


  • 300 g bucatini
  • 100 g guanciale or pancetta, cubed
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 30 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 30 g Pecorino Romano, grated
  • salt and black pepper

Beat the eggs, together with the grated cheeses and freshly milled black pepper. Fry the guanciale for 5 minutes in a pan, but don’t let it go crispy. You might need to add some olive oil, if the guanciale is not very fat. In the mean time cook the pasta al dente in 3 litres salted water, drain, and transfer to the pan with the guanciale. Take off the heat and stir in the egg-cheese mixture. Add some extra black pepper, and serve at once. Extra grated cheese is not necessary.

some remarks:

  • Never add cream to a carbonara
  • Make sure the eggs don’t get too hot, or you’ll end up with pasta and scrambled eggs
  • you could use spaghetti if you don’t have bucatini

Wine: traditionally a white wine like a Frascati (Lazio), a Vermentino (Liguria or Sardegna) or a Verdicchio from the Marche; a red wine is also possible, e.g. Nebbiolo delle Langhe, or a Barbera d’Asti

Posted in pasta, recipes.

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