How to make the perfect Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is one of my favourite childhood dishes and always reminds me of my Dad. It is a classic Italian dish and very hearty – the best type of comfort food for a winter’s day. And the best thing about it is that it makes a great midweek meal when you are in a rush, taking less than 30 minutes to make. Plus you only need a few ingredients making this dish a very affordable meal too, especially when the cupboards are bare and payday is still a long way off!

However, using quality ingredients will ensure your Spaghetti Carbonara tastes that much better, so make sure you use decent eggs and quality Pancetta and Parmigiana Cheese to get the best flavours as possible!

Traditionally, Spaghetti Carbonara doesn’t use onions or cream, but I like to add onions to my dish to create some extra sweetness and texture, whilst the cream makes it that much creamier.

However, it’s all about the eggs and the cracked black pepper. Be sure to toss the egg mixture and spaghetti together off the heat as if you toss it altogether on the heat, your eggs will scramble. Finish the dish by adding a good amount of cracked black pepper on top. You won’t need to add salt as the pancetta will already contain a fair bit of salt.

Serves 4


  • 375g spaghetti
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiana Cheese
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 200g Pancetta, diced
  • Black pepper to season
  • Fresh basil for decoration


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti, stir and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and boil for 8 minutes, and no more than 10 minutes until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with the grated Parmigiana and cream. Season to taste with black pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a separate saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently, stirring until softened for about 5 minutes. Add the diced pancetta and cook until crispy and golden, but not brown.
  4. Drain the spaghetti, whilst keeping some of the drained cooking water aside and add the spaghetti into the saucepan with the pancetta. Toss over a moderate heat to combine all ingredients and add a ladle of the drained water, stirring constantly to create that creaminess.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add in the egg mixture. Toss to coat each strand of spaghetti with the sauce. Note: do not place the pan back on the heat as the residual heat will cook the eggs. If the mixture is too thick, just add a bit more of the cooking water to the pan and stir.
  6. Divide the pasta onto four plates. Add freshly cracked black pepper and Parmigiana cheese and serve immediately with some fresh basil on top for decoration.

The Perfect Spaghetti Carbonara