Jamie Oliver's Classic Carbonara - Creamy, smoky & indulgent

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"While this is a famous Roman dish, the combination of ham, eggs, cheese and pasta is one that is celebrated throughout all of Italy. There is much debate about the perfect Carbonara, but sourcing Guanciale (cured pig’s cheek), going heavy on the pepper and cracking it fresh, as well as controlling the temperature of the pan, are what’s key to this delicious, comforting pasta."

Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2018 Jamie Oliver Enterprises. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.


Total Fat
Total Carbohydrates

Ingredients 4 Servings


  • ½  tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 ounce piece of guanciale (cured pig’s cheek) or pancetta, ¼-inch chunks
  • 10 ounces Barilla® spaghetti
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1¾  ounces pecorino or Parmesan cheese
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  • Toast the peppercorns in a large dry frying pan on a medium heat, until fragrant, then crack and pound in a pestle and mortar until fine. Pass through a sieve, discarding anything left behind.  Remove the frying pan from the heat for a few minutes to cool slightly.
  •  Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the package directions.

  • Meanwhile, chop the guanciale or pancetta into ¼-inch chunks, sprinkle into the frying pan with the pepper, and place on a medium-low heat until the fat has rendered out and turned golden.

  • In a bowl, beat the eggs, then finely grate in most of the Pecorino or Parmesan and beat again. 
  • Using tongs, drag the pasta straight into the guanciale pan, letting some starchy cooking water go with it to break the frying. Toss with all that gorgeous flavor, then remove from the heat and – of utmost importance – wait 2 minutes for the pan to cool before adding the eggs (if it’s too hot, they’ll scramble; get it right and they’ll be smooth, silky and elegant).
  • Moving the pasta, toss in the eggs, loosening with extra cooking water, if needed. 
  • Plate up immediately, finely grate over the remaining pecorino or Parmesan. Delicious served with a green salad. 
  • TIP: If you cannot find guanciale or pecorino cheese in your local Italian deli, feel free to use pancetta and Parmesan instead.

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