Roman Spaghetti Carbonara

4 Servings

15 minutes

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Some say spaghetti carbonara emerged after WWII, thanks in part to American soldiers and their packets of MRE eggs. Others say the name is drawn from “carbone,” or charcoal—a reference to the dish's complexion thanks to a copious amount of pepper. Whatever the roots, this brighter take on carbonara came from Pipero Roma, a white table cloth restaurant in Rome. Their secret: Egg yolks are whisked until cooked and slightly foamy creating a sauce that is much lighter in texture than most carbonara recipes. Mixing the yolks with water and cornstarch ensures the cheese won't clump up when tossed with the pasta.




Don’t substitute bacon for the pancetta. The smokiness of the bacon will overwhelm the cleaner flavors of the egg-based sauce.

15 minutes


  • 3

    ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped

  • cups water


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Judy H.
March 12, 2023
Excellent for such a simple recipe
Husband asks for this dish at least a couple times a month. We love it as well as our whole family.
Danielle M.
November 2, 2022
This recipe was wonderful. I used half the cornstarch as my pasta water was concentrated/starchy for binding the sauce.
Cynthia T.
March 7, 2023
carbonara recipe
this recipe was criticized for being too rich by Roberto P. I would love to have his better and improved recipe.
kathleen h.
November 21, 2022
Its gummy and boring...where is the onion, where is the wine, where is the flavor?
Scott C.
October 27, 2022
Too rich!
I had high hopes for this carbonara. In the end it was all too rich and too much. Six egg yolks? Maybe three, but six? And the pancetta flavor was somehow buried, despite using more than 3 oz. diced. Next time I'll stick to one of my more traditional carbonara recipes.
Ruchita G.

Any ideas for vegetarian substitutes for the pancetta? or dont bother attempting to make this?

Roger E.

I'd just leave it out. It basically becomes a richer version of cacio de pepe which is good on its own.

Ruchita G.

Any ideas of vegetarian substitutes for the pancetta? Or dont bother with this recipe?

Roberto P.

It was ok. Both my parents were born and raised in Italy. Carbonara was a family favorite growing up. I wouldn’t make this again tbh.