This pasta alla carbonara recipe easy to make with 4 classic ingredients and tastes so decadent and delicious.
- 12 ounces (340 grams) uncooked pasta (I used mezze rigatoni)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 ounces (60 g) freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
- fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces (225 g) guanciale, diced into ½-inch cubes
- Cook the guanciale. Heat a large sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-low heat. Add the guanciale to the pan and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until the guanciale is golden brown and crispy and the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. (Keep a close eye on the guanciale so that it does not burn.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a clean bowl.
- Bloom the black pepper. Add 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper to the pan with the hot grease, then turn off the heat.
- Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, fill a large stockpot about half full of lightly-salted water (roughly 3 quarts) and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix the sauce. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and Pecorino together in a large metal mixing bowl (or other heatproof bowl) until combined. Using one hand, gradually pour in the black pepper guanciale grease into the bowl while using the other hand to whisk the mixture until combined. Once the pasta has cooked for 5 minutes, remove ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and gradually pour it into the egg mixture while whisking until combined.
- Quickly transfer the pasta. Once the pasta is about 1 minute shy of al dente, use a spider strainer or tongs with one hand to quickly transfer the pasta to the metal bowl, while using the other hand to continuously toss the pasta with the egg mixture. Add the cooked guanciale to the bowl as well.
- Finish the pasta. Turn off the heat under the stockpot used to cook the pasta (the cooking water should still be in the stockpot). Then carefully place the metal bowl with the pasta directly on top of the stockpot, like a double boiler, so that the steam from the cooking water will heat the bottom of the bowl. Use tongs or a large spoon to continuously toss the pasta until the egg sauce begins to slightly thicken (watch it very closely so that it does not scramble). Then once the sauce has thickened, immediately remove the bowl from the stockpot and transfer the hot pasta into your serving dishes.
- Serve. Serve warm, garnished with an extra sprinkle of cheese and a twist of black pepper.
Recipe edits: Recipe updated in 2022 to include less pasta (original recipe used 1 pound, which was reduced to 12 ounces for a richer sauce-to-pasta ratio) and revised instructions (I’ve found this new method to be more reliable). I’ve also included a double-boiler method inspired by Luciano Monosilio.