Tagliatelle Carbonara – Authentic Italian

Tagliatelle Carbonara

This Tagliatelle carbonara recipe is so quick and easy and while it is authentic, it is probably worth pointing out that with Italian cooking, as with lots of other regional cooking, there is no one definitive recipe for any particular dish. It is thought that many different families in Bologne have their own bolognese sauce recipe, though none serve it with spaghetti! It is usually served with tagliatelle or pappardelle as these are better at clinging to the sauce. Similarly there are many different recipes for carbonara. I’ve heard of cream being added or mushrooms or white wine but this is recipe with its handful of ingredients is really all you need. I think that all those extras are inauthentic.

It may not deliver many, or any, of your 5-a-day but when you need an almost instant, no-nonsense, gratifying dinner you can throw this Tagliatelle carbonara together with just a few ingredients that you are likely to have in the house. If you don’t have the parmesan or pancetta, give yourself a break, they can totally be replaced with mature white cheddar and any bacon you want or have! Maybe it won’t be quite the same or as authentic but it will still hit the spot.

Tagliatelle Carbonara


  • 300 g tagliatelle
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 110 g pancetta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Half a teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 40 g finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Beat the eggs, cheese and pepper together and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in boiling salted water. Reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water before straining.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the bruised garlic cloves and allow to fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the diced pancetta and fry until crispy and golden.
  5. Remove the garlic.
  6. Add the cooked, strained pasta and toss to combine with the pancetta.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the egg mixture and mix.
  8. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time to loosen the sauce, stirring the pasta constantly.
  9. Plate up and scatter with parmesan.
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  • Anurag says:

    I really enjyeod your Manic Monday post. Such a cool bit of history to share. In regard to your favorite dish: our old next door neighbors used to make this from scratch every Sunday. They loved our pooch very, very much and would make a batch just for her too; she’d get so sick cause it was so rich. We finally had to tell them if they didn’t stop feeding her like that they weren’t going to be allowed to play with her anymore. I love Carbanora, but I’ll never be able to eat it w/out thinking of the old results. 😉

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