The biggest mistake you're making when cooking Spaghetti alla Carbonara

International Day of Italian Cuisines has us dreaming of pasta

Tuesday 4 August marks International Day of Italian Cuisines – otherwise known as the perfect excuse for pasta. What better way to celebrate our new favourite holiday than with a popular spaghetti dish for dinner tonight, Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

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We've found a delicious, authentic recipe courtesy of Hotel Eden Rome’s General Manager Luca Virgilio.

This carbonara recipe is served at the upmarket Hotel Eden Rome in Italy 

But before you start – here's what you definitely shouldn't be doing. Michelin-starred Fabio Ciervo, Executive Chef at La Terrazza at Hotel Eden Rome, has revealed the number one mistake people make when cooking a Carbonara – using the wrong meat.

It's vital to use guanciale (pork cheek) and not bacon. Trust us, it'll make all the difference…

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Here are his other top tips:

  • Cook the pasta for two – three minutes in the sauce and then off heat, add the eggs to make a tasty Carbonara sauce.
  • For an authentic Carbonara, the following ingredients must not be added; onion, garlic, finishing with parsley or basil, cream… and of course, pancetta or bacon.

Appetite whetted? Read on to recreate a restaurant-worthy dinner tonight…

Hotel Eden Rome’s General Manager Luca Virgilio shared his secret recipe


Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe (serves 2)



Ingredients for Spaghetti alla Carbonara

  • 200g of spaghetti pasta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 150g of guanciale
  • 100g of grated pecorino cheese
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt



Method for Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Step 1

When the pasta water boils, add a couple of pinches of salt. 

Step 2

On a frying pan start cooking the guanciale. No need to add oil, as the guanciale is already quite fatty

Step 3

While the pasta and guanciale are cooking, mix the grated pecorino and egg yolks together with some pepper in a bowl

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Step 4

When the guanciale is nice and crispy, add a bit of water from the pasta to it, to start making the sauce. Bring the heat to low. 

Step 5

Add some pasta water to the bowl with the egg yolks and cheese to make it more fluid.

Step 6

When the pasta is cooked al dente, transfer the pasta to the frying pan with the guanciale, and turn off the heat.

Step 7

Then add the egg yolk and cheese mix to the pasta and guanciale. Then mix together and the egg will start to cook from the warmth of the pasta.

Step 8 

Final touch: just before serving, add some pecorino cheese and ground pepper on top. Buon appetito!

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