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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (Charcoal Maker's Spaghetti)

Some say that Romans invented spaghetti carbonara, others credit it to Umbrian charcoal burners; hence, the "carbonara" term. Whoever created it, I'm glad they did, because it tastes really good!


  • At one point, due to a shortage of pots, I did the bacon in a skillet and added it to the pasta pot instead of the other way around. It worked just fine.


  • I also have a hard time finding any hard, dry Italian cheeses other than Parmesan here in New Zealand, so I use it exclusively.


  • Quite often, I prepare this recipe a day before I serve it, as it gains flavour with time.


  • Looking for more great Italian pasta recipes?  Click here!



  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 ounces double (heavy) cream
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 ounces streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan and pecorinoa Romano cheese (half of each)


  1. Beat the eggs and cream together with a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan.
  3. Add the diced bacon and cook gently until the fat becomes transparent.
  4. Cook the spaghetti, following packet directions and avoid over-cooking.
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the large bacon pan; stir well.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the beaten eggs and cream and a small quantity of the cheese.  The eggs will coagulate as they come into contact with the hot pasta, so you have to work quickly. 
  7. Stir until each strand of the spaghetti is coated with a thick yellow cream, then add the rest of the cheese and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  8. Serve at once.

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