Yields: 1 portion

Preparation time: 13'


  • kettle (for the fast version)


  • 50g diced guanciale (or non-smoked unsweetened bacon if you can’t find it)
  • 1 egg
  • [OPTIONAL] one yolk
  • 7g Parmigiano
  • 7g Pecorino
  • 70g spaghetti
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • [CHEAT] a bit of cream


  • Put on a kettle and a pot with water in it, on high heat (using both halves the time to bring the water to a boil). Note that for the amount of pasta I wrote a liter and a half of water should suffice
  • As soon as the water goes above 85°C (you can detect it because some bubbles will start to come up) you can add the salt (about 10g/l) and the pasta. Now continue reading the following steps, which are performed in parallel.
  • Put the guanciale in a pan and stir-fry it on medium heat until it is all pink, then remove the pan from the hob (it has to cool down a bit)
  • Immediately after (or at the same time if you are quick enough) you should crack the egg and grate parmesan and pecorino directly into it (add the cream to it if you are going for the cheat version)
  • Add some freshly ground pepper
  • When the pasta is al dente sift it with a colander or the pot lid (you don’t have to perfectly drain it)
  • Put the pasta in the pan with the guanciale, turn the heat back on
  • When the pan is hot take off the heat, pour the egg-cheese mix on top and stir
  • If you don’t want to have raw eggs you can now re-heat the mix and check with a thermometer that the temperature is above 65°C everywhere (or take it off immediately after you see the eggs start coagulate)
  • Serve with one last bit of freshly ground pepper

Cream? No cream?

The cream is not in the original recipe but it makes it much easier to obtain a creamy sauce and reduces the risk of scrambling the eggs. I would suggest trying with the cream the first few time you make this and then move on to the traditional version.

Sometimes when I make brioche I end up with some leftover yolk-cream mix and to not throw it away I add it to the whole egg to make a carbonara, it is not the traditional way but I hate to throw away good ingredients.

Which cheese?

Pecorino and Parmigiano can be replaced one with the other if you only have one.

How much of each ingredient?

Quantities and ratios are completely arbitrary, feel free to decide how much of each ingredient you want. If you make this for more people it will be a bit harder to make it in less than 15’.

Category: First course

Origin: Lazio

Tags: Egg yolks