Island Eats, Spaghetti Carbonara

Welcome to Island Eats, the place where you can find yummy recipes every Sunday. This week we have the ultimate Spaghetti Carbonara. Discover how to make superb spaghetti carbonara. This cheesy pasta dish is an Italian favourite and with the right technique, you can make it perfect every time

Serves: 4
Prep: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes


100g Pancetta
50g Pecorino Cheese
50g Parmesan
3 Large Eggs
350g Spaghetti
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and left whole
50g Unsalted Butter
Sea Salt and ground Black Pepper


  1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil.
  2. Finely chop 100g pancetta, remove any rind. Finely grate 50g pecorino cheese and 50g parmesan and mix them together.
  3. Beat the 3 large eggs in a medium bowl and season with black pepper. Set everything aside.
  4. Add 1 tsp salt to the boiling water, add 350g spaghetti and when the water comes back to the boil, cook at a constant simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Squash 2 peeled plump garlic cloves with the blade of a knife, just to bruise it.
  6. While the spaghetti is cooking, fry the pancetta with the garlic. Drop 50g unsalted butter into a separate large frying pan or wok and as soon as the butter has melted, tip in the pancetta and garlic.
  7. Leave to cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden and crisp. The garlic has now imparted it’s flavour, so take it out with a spoon and discard.
  8. Keep the heat under the pancetta low. When the pasta is ready, lift it from the water with a pasta fork or tongs and put it in the frying pan with the pancetta. Don’t worry if a little water drops in (you want this to happen) don’t throw the pasta water away yet.
  9. Mix most of the cheese in with the eggs, keeping a small handful back for sprinkling over later.
  10. Take the pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat. Now quickly pour in the eggs and cheese. Using the tongs or a long fork, lift up the spaghetti so it mixes easily with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn’t scramble, and everything is coated.
  11. Add extra pasta cooking water to keep it saucy (several tablespoons should do it). You don’t want it wet, just moist. Season with a little salt, if needed.
  12. Use a long-pronged fork to twist the pasta on to the serving plate or bowl. Serve immediately with a little sprinkling of the remaining cheese and a grating of black pepper. If the dish does get a little dry before serving, splash in some more hot pasta water and the glossy sauciness will be revived.


Recipe by BBC Good Food

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