Complimenting Carbonara

Mike’s Carbonara Recipe

(Note: This recipe is attached to an article on pasta carbonara wine pairings. View the article here.)

I’m not much of a recipe guy, but here’s the general idea:

Though simple to prepare, there’s a vital trick to carbonara: don’t scramble the eggs. There are many suggested techniques for this, but I’ve learned to first make a paste with whipped eggs and grated cheese, and then to use pasta water to temper this mixture while combining it with the pasta and pork. If done slowly and carefully, the sauce turns beautifully creamy and luscious.

8oz spaghetti
2-3 oz guanciale (or pancetta, or bacon, or smoked jowl bacon)
Note: pancetta can be VERY salty
1 large egg + 1 yolk
Freshly grated cheese (can be combination of Pecorino Romano, Fiore Sardo, Aged Pecorino Toscano and/or Parmigiano Reggiano)
Freshly cracked black pepper

  1. Bring pasta water to boil
  2. Beat egg
  3. Mix enough cheese with egg to form a thick paste
  4. Cut pork into lardons
  5. Saute pork at medium-low heat until crispy. (Some recipes call for olive oil or butter here, but it isn’t needed.) If desired, drain some of the fat and reserve for another use.
  6. Cook pasta to al dente (8-10 mins usually), reserving water
  7. Crack a lot of pepper into pork pan, heat until fragrant, 2-3 mins
  8. Add a little bit of pasta water into pan (1-2T maybe), should quickly bubble
  9. Add pasta to pan
  10. Add egg/cheese mixture to pan with a drizzle of pasta water, slowly mixing in enough water until a creamy sauce forms. (You may have to add more water as the pasta cools and the sauce begins to seize, so keep it handy.)
  11. Serve with more cheese and pepper.

Serves 2-4

Back to Carbonara Wine Pairings Article