What 8 Months in Italy Thought Me About Pasta alla Carbonara

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This is my favourite Italian dish, I could eat it every day of the week and twice on Sunday! Seriously! I need to tell you I spent around 8 months in Italy, and as for all Italian food, they will give you one recipe, tell you that’s the real Italian way, and that every other region than theirs are doing it wrong. So my conclusion is that there isn’t one carbonara recipe, but as many as they are regions in Italy.

This is a quick meal, and the recipe is for one person… I don’t like sharing my favourite meal, mouhahaha!

About the ingredients

The most important thing for a good carbonara is to get good ingredients, so here goes my little guide:

The Cheese: a lot of people use Parmesan, which some Italians also do, but a most Italians will tell you to use Pecorino Romano cheese. Carbonara comes from the region of Lazio, and a chef I know from that region told me to use pecorino so that’s what I do! Please, never use industrial regular grated cheese! But! Pecorino isn’t always easy to find, so you can use parmesan, more precisely, Parmiggiano Regiano.

Conclusion: 10 g pecorino cheese

The Meat: most people use bacon but that’s wrong! Pancetta or guanciale is what Italians use.  That’s the real shit! But, that is not always easily accessible, or as in my case, in Norway, I could find it, but it would be expensive. So I do admit I go for the bacon option when I’m not in Italy.

Conclusion: 50-75 g bacon in slices (or pancetta or guanciale if you have access to it)

Pepper: you probably already use pepper when you do your own version of carbonara, but you didn’t get this: MORE! You need way more than you think so. And this could actually be the rule for most Italian cooking: olive oil?  more! – salt? double it! – cheese? more! and then some more! Italian cuisine is all about quality and quantity in the  basic ingredients.

Conclusion: lots of pepper

The Eggs: a lot of people use the hole egg, and again… WRONG! You only use the egg yolk.

Conclusion: 2 egg yolks 

Tip: if you don’t know what to do with the egg whites, keep them in an ice cube tray. That way you know how many of them are freezed.

The Pasta: it has to be spaghettis or tagliatelle, that’s it, no arguing! Conclusion: 100 g spaghettis or tagliatelle

The Fork: seriously, all Italian pasta meals are to be served with one fork, no knives!!!

Big No-No’s

The general rule is no to not add any other ingredients than the above, but I’ve seen these mistakes in particularly  a lot:

– no cream! Please! Or if you do, don’t call it carbonara, call it pasta with a creamy cheese sauce!

–  no onions or garlic! The taste should come from the meat and cheese!

– no veggies! It’s to late to be healthy here!

And finally, the preparation

Start boiling the pasta while you prepare the sauce. Then mix the egg yolks, parmesan and pepper in a bowl.


Fry the bacon in the pan. There is no need for oil, the bacon is greasy enough as it is.


When the pasta is ready, put in the pan for a minute. This will keep it from getting sticky and give it a delicious greasy taste! Yummy!

Now take the pan off the heat and add the egg and cheese mix, but stir well and quickly! Because you don’t want the eggs to go all omelette on you! To be on the safe side, you can always mix them in the same bowl that you used for the egg mix, or in your plate.


 The finishing touch is of course some more cheese and pepper on top!

And Booh Yah! Buon Appetito!



6 thoughts on “What 8 Months in Italy Thought Me About Pasta alla Carbonara

  1. Well I certainly love this post. I am a carbonara fanatic and all of this makes perfect sense. I just learned something…and I am going to make carbonara just the way you explained. I have a carbonara post on my blog and sorry to say “I got it all wrong!” 🙂 Thank you for visiting and following my blog today. Glad to have found boohyahyummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I also did “all wrong” all the time before I went to Italy! The Italians would always made so fun of my old “non-italian” way of doing it! I’m glad to have Cottage Grove House as well!


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