Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This is my favourite, and the very best version I know of the great classic Italian recipe for pasta with bacon and egg sauce. I used to make it with English bacon and Parmesan cheese, but now we are able to get Italian pancetta and Pecorino Romano cheese, it is a great improvement.

Serves 2

This recipe is taken from Delia's Winter Collection and The Delia Collection: Italian.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
 8 oz (225 g) dried spaghetti
 5 oz (150 g) sliced smoked pancetta, finely sliced
 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra yolks
 4 tablespoons Pecorino Romano, finely grated, plus extra to serve
 4 tablespoons double cream
 little olive oil
 freshly milled black pepper


First of all, cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes in boiling salted water to which 1 teaspoon of olive oil has been added. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and fry the pancetta without any extra oil until it’s crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.

Next, whisk the eggs, yolks and cream in a bowl and season generously with black pepper then whisk in the cheese. When the pasta is cooked, drain it quickly in a colander, leaving a little of the moisture still clinging.

Now quickly return it to the saucepan and add the pancetta and any oil in the pan, along with the egg and cream mixture. Stir very thoroughly, so that everything gets a good coating – what happens is that the liquid egg cooks briefly as it comes into contact with the hot pasta.

Serve the pasta on really hot deep plates with some extra grated Pecorino.

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