Recipe: Proper Italian Carbonara


Spaghetti carbonara is probably my favourite food after Fajitas, I’d eat it every other day if I could. When my mum was younger she spent a few months living in Italy so I’ve been blessed with growing up eating authentic pasta dishes (it will obviously never be good as proper proper Italian made pasta but it’s still pretty good.) This recipe however is slightly different as it doesn’t use any cream, which I think is just something that quite a few English versions include but isn’t present in original Italian carbonara (correct me if I’m wrong.)

This is a really simple recipe and serves 2 people (but we eat a lot so bear that in mind haha.)


  • 8 rashers of bacon (I prefer smoked but it’s up to you)
  • 4 eggs (yolks only)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cloves of garlic
  • spaghetti (I’m going to be honest the amount I use varies and I usually use too much so I’m probably not the best person to give measurements, but you can probably go by eye and use the amount you’d normally use for a pasta dish.)
  • A drizzle of oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper to season


Fry the bacon rashers on a low heat with a little bit of oil to make sure they don’t stick to the pan. Make sure they’re well cooked through but don’t worry about making sure they’re really crispy because they’ll be going back in the pan later.


Whilst the bacon is cooking dice the onion and either chop up your garlic with a knife or garlic crusher. Once the bacon is cooked, take it out of the pan and add only the onions into the pan, and a bit more oil if you need to. Now the bacon is out of the pan you can chop it into squares.


Whilst the onions are slowly cooking fill a pan with water and start to boil it on a high heat. Remember to keep stirring the onions so they don’t stick to the pan, and leave them cooking until they are soft. If they are cooked before the pasta goes on and before the other ingredients are added, it’s fine to take them off of the heat for a bit. Once the water is on the heat put only the yolks from four eggs into a cup and stir with a fork until they are all whisked together.


Once the water is boiling add some salt to the water (to your own taste) and add the spaghetti. Once the spaghetti is in, lower the temperature of the heat so the water is at a low simmer. Cook this for between 7 – 11 minutes (your packet of pasta should tell you as it differs all the time although you can just taste some throughout cooking it to see if it’s ready.) About 4 – 5 minutes before the pasta is ready, put the onions back onto the heat if you’ve taken them off and add the chopped bacon. Just a couple of minutes before the pasta is ready add the garlic (if the garlic cooks too long it’ll taste bitter.)


When the pasta seems cooked, drain it into a colander over a sink. Place the pasta back into the now empty pan it was cooked in and add the whisked egg yolks. The yolks need to be added quickly, and once they are in stir the pasta continuously until they are cooked. I find the best way to do it is to use two forks, one in each hand, to mix the egg in. You’ll be able to tell when they’re cooked because it’ll look slightly like they’ve been scrambled. If the yolks aren’t stirred in really well there will be some parts of the pasta with no egg and other parts with big lumps of egg. The heat of the pasta cooks the egg yolks as they are stirred.


Then add in the onion/bacon mixture and stir again, at this point adding any other seasonings you like such as black pepper. Put in bowls or plates and add a few shavings of parmesan cheese on top!


Nicole x