Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara


We’ve always made Spaghetti alla Carbonara the ‘with cream‘ way thinking that we were doing it right (i.e. the authentic way), but we were so wrong as you will see in the authentic recipe below. Well, it really doesn’t matter because whenever we cook Giada de Laurentiis’s Chicken Carbonara, it was well-received. And that’s important. No matter how gourmet your food is, if none of your guests like it — what’s the point, right? However, it still is good to experience the real thing.

Early last week I found a link from Tastespotting pointing to the Virtual Group of Italian Chef‘s page about the International Day of Italian Cuisines: January 17. [It’s also my parents’ wedding anniversary…not that we have the slightest of Italian lineage, but I just wanted to give a shout out to my folks who read this. Happyversary! :-)] On the GVCI site, this was posted:

For one day, everyone who makes, promotes or simply loves Italian food outside of Italy is invited to carry out a small activity to celebrate authenticity and quality in Italian cuisine.

This unprecedented celebration is led by over 130 Italian chefs and restaurateurs in 35 countries. They belong to itchefs-gvci, (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs) and will cook Pasta alla Carbonara according to the original, authentic recipe. This simple dish, a pillar of Italian gastronomy, is in fact the symbol of counterfeit Italian cuisine in the world at large. The International Day of Italian Cuisines, under the aegis of itchefs-gvci, is born of a desire to redress this imbalance.

Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Of course, being the newly fashioned Me-Too person that I am, I told Dan we’ll join in.

I doubled the serving-for-one recipe for our dinner and the pasta we ended up with was very tasty and creamy. I did not miss the cream, but Dan did. I think I put way too much cheese because it tasted a bit sharp. This recipe made me cry out load for a kitchen digital scale, because the ingredient measurements were in grams. I had to make estimates throughout the recipe.  That’s ok…you keep learning in the kitchen.

Here is the recipe posted on the site that I followed for this dish. We used pancetta because we couldn’t find guanciale, two eggs for the doubled recipe, and Parmigiano Reggiano for the cheese.

It’s really easy to make —

[Edited 20 May 2010 – I received a note from the Managing Editor of to remove their recipe. We shared the recipe here in celebration the so-called International Day of Italian Cuisines, but we cannot do so anymore–sorry folks! Kindly point your browser to your choice of search engine to look for the recipe. Thanks.]

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  • January 21, 2008 8:47 am

    I have only made it with cream so far – good to know the original version, tks for sharing!

  • January 21, 2008 3:33 pm

    This looks so delicious, and the photo is gorgeous!

  • January 21, 2008 3:45 pm

    I found the “authentic” version a few years ago and never looked back! I usually add in about a cup of pasta water after everything has been combined… I think it really helps to take away any sharp cheese flavor and makes it a bit saucier.

    Your dish is drool-worthy!

  • January 21, 2008 5:16 pm

    Those are flavours that you really have to try hard to ruin – Looks amazing!

  • Mary Anne
    January 21, 2008 6:54 pm

    You two never cease to amaze me. Great picture too!

  • jun & lil
    January 21, 2008 11:30 pm

    You know me; as long as it’s pasta I like it. BUT this is s-o-o different than my beloved “cream” carbonara version. Anyway, I’d sure like to try this one, and I’m sure I’d love it too. Thanks for the original recipe.

  • joy
    January 22, 2008 1:28 am

    Patricia — You’re welcome!

    Katy — It was delicious. Thank you.

    Clumsy — I added about half a cup of water, but I really think I got overzealous with the cheese. Haha. Thanks a lot!

    Graeme — Thanks. I’ve ruined several dishes beyond salvation. Haha.

    Mary Anne — Thanks!

    Mom & Dad — Haha. It’s not so different texture-wise, but in flavor, yes! It is loaded with flavor. Your usual creamy one would taste bland in comparison. Hey, this is not my recipe. =p

  • Lexi Adams
    May 20, 2010 12:52 am

    i love Italian Food specially those juicy pastas. They are really delicious.;.”

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