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Spaghetti alla Carbonara

by William

Simple pleasures are all around us. For some of us, it’s the twist of a fork in a bed of linguine beneath a cloud of parmesan. Others find joy in hustling off the MTA and grabbing a quick bacon, egg & cheese at the corner bodega on the way to the office. What if you could have both?

An apt comparison to the Roman dish would be the mythological Siren. Fortunately, none of us are bound to a ship’s mast, so please enjoy the irresistible song that is Spaghetti with Guanciale, Eggs and Cream.

Serves 3-4


Guanciale, Pancetta or Bacon ~ 1/2 lb (225 g)
Egg ~ 3
Heavy Cream ~ 1/2 cup (125 mL)
Parmigiano or Pecorino ~ 2T freshly grated (more is better)
Black Pepper ~ Generous pinch
Parsley ~ A finely chopped heap
Spaghetti ~ l lb (450 g)
Butter (or Olive Oil) ~ More is definitely better
Lemon ~ Optional
Herbs / Spices ~ Basil, Thyme and/or Oregano
Salt & Pepper

While you cook your Spaghetti (450 g) to al dente in boiling water, fry the Guanciale until it is slightly crispy. Drain most of the fat from the pan, and ideally strain & store in the fridge for future use. To make the sauce, beat together three Eggs, Heavy Cream (125 mL), Pecorino (30 g), and generous pinches of finely chopped fresh Parsley & Black Pepper. Once the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the guanciale. Add the sauce to the pan and cooked over very low heat. Coat the spaghetti well but do not overcook. Serve the creamy dish with extra grated Pecorino.

When it comes to pasta, pig & cheese there are no wrong answers. My favorite combo is bucatini, guanciale & pecorino - fettuccine, linguine, pancetta, bacon and parmigiano all sound good as well.

(Cozzi, Ciro & Sal’s, 60)