Carbonara the right way

I love pasta and carbonara is one of my favourite pasta dishes. Thank you Italians for making your cuisine one of my favourite culinary delights. So, believe it or not carbonara is one of the easiest dishes to make and it doesn’t have to come from a jar! I found this recipe in a fairly modern book by Giuliano Hazan, I don’t remember which one but I haven’t forgotten the technique. It might not be exactly the same but it sure doesn’t stray far off the mark, lets begin…

Slice your pancetta to start.

Don’t use cubed – sliced is best as it tends to hug the spagetti better.

Fry until crispy.

Fry in the tiniest slug of olive oil, you don’t need much at all as the fat from the pancetta will render out and help with the frying process.

Flambé in white wine.

Not to much, just enough to make the pancetta feel like it’s stepped into a shallow puddle, I used about 175ml. This is where saltiness for the dish comes from. Continue to fry until all the wine has evaporated.

Egg yolks and parsley.

Separate your egg yolks and chop a bunch of parsley and mix together, quantities vary depending on your preference but I usually use 3/4 yolks per person or per 150g of pasta.

Boil some pasta in some salted water, 100/150g per person.

When your pasta is ready drain, but not fully – its important to retain some of the boiling water to help slacken the dish, I usually throw the pasta into a colander and toss back into the pan before all of the water has drained – its an odd technique but it works for me. How slack you want the dish depends on how quickly you go through the process.

Time to assemble.

Toss the fried pancetta, egg yolk and parsley mixture in the pasta to ensure that all the lovely flavours are mixed together. Don’t worry about the raw egg yolks because the pasta should be piping hot and as the yolks hit the pasta it will cook gently.


Serve with a gentle grinding of pepper and – if you like, a squeeze of lemon juice.


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