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bucatini carbonara.
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5 from 5 votes

Delicious Bucatini Carbonara The Italian Way

These perfectly al dente bucatini carbonara are prepared in less than twenty minutes and make a restaurant worthy dish. Egg yolks, guanciale, black pepper, and grated cheese is all you need to dress this incredibly delicious, traditional pasta dish.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 portions
Calories: 592kcal
Author: Elle John


  • 5 oz Bucatini or any pasta shape of choice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 oz Guanciale or pancetta or bacon
  • 4 tablespoon Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste


Prep time

  • Bring the eggs to room temperature. Once done, separate the yolks from the egg whites.
    eggs, grated pecorino romano, and cracked black pepper.
  • Mix the egg yolks, grated cheese, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
    carbonara sauce while raw.
  • Thinly slice the guanciale into thin strips or squares.

Cooking time

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add your bucatini. Set a timer to ensure you cook the pasta until only al dente; follow the package directions for the time.
  • Add the guanciale to a cold large skillet. It is essential that the pan is cold, as while it warms up, the fat renders and fries the meaty part until perfectly crisp.
    raw guanciale in a cold frying pan.
  • Warm up the pan on medium-low heat, until the outer part of the guanciale is crisp, while the inside is warm and juicy.
  • Remove the crispy guanciale bits from the pan and set them aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
    cooked guanciale.

Putting the Bucatini Carbonara Together

  • Take a cup of cooking water and set it aside for a minute or two.
  • Mix about three tablespoons of the pasta water with the egg mixture until you achieve a rich creamy sauce. That is your carbonara sauce!
    carbonara sauce.
  • When the pasta is one minute from being ready, reheat the fat in the skillet if it has gone cold, and remove it from the flame.
  • Drain the bucatini pasta and add them to the frying pan, quickly mixing them with the fat of the guanciale.
    ingredients ready for bucatini alla carbonara.
  • As soon as this is done [it shouldn't take more than 10-15 seconds], add the carbonara sauce to the pan and mix well.
    mix bucatini with carbonara sauce and guanciale.
  • Within seconds, the hot noodles will start thickening the sauce.
    bucatini alla carbonara in a pan.
  • Serve immediately with a little more cheese on top, and enjoy!
    bucatini carbonara.


  • Should your sauce not thicken when added to the hot pasta, bring the pan to a low flame and mix. Within very few seconds, it will thicken. This is not the traditional way of doing it, but I know the first time I was cooking this, I miscalculated the time and had to go down this route.
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano and grana padano are much milder than pecorino romano, so don't be shy to mix them up or use either of the two instead of pecorino.
  • Freshly ground black pepper is too fine and tends to overpower flavors, while cracked pepper is more subtle while offering some heat.
  • Use any shape of pasta you want, from spaghetti to penne; they all work, but ensure to cook them al dente.
  • If the pasta goes too dry, add more of the reserved pasta cooking water and mix until creamy.
  • Try to grate the cheese yourself. Pregrated cheese tends to have additives to keep it from sticking together in the package.
  • Bucatini carbonara or any carbonara can't be stored and should be eaten immediately. This sauce is unsuitable for reheating, so it should be eaten straight away. 


Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 332mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 2mg