Rigatoni alla Carbonara

Rigatoni alla Carbonara

By Roman Friend Giulio Caperchi.

Enjoy this traditional recipe on our tour of Lazio and of other regions, or try it at home! Giulio gave us this recipe directly from the cookbook his family has been using for this traditional dish in Rome.



Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) rigatoni or spaghetti (we used Seven Hills Pasta rigatoni from our friends Giulio and Carol because of their method of extruding pasta dough with bronze dies and slowly drying… for a superior texture and sauce pairing)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 Tbsp salt 
  • 4 egg yolks (some recipes include some of the whites as well)
  • 150 gr. of guanciale (pork jowl)
  • 100 gr. of a mix of grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano 
  • 2 Tbsp of water
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper (or more to adjust to your taste)



  • Bring water to a boil and then add salt (the water should taste slightly salty)
  • Throw the pasta in the water
  • Brown the guanciale in a pan on medium heat. When done remove it from the stove and add 1 Tbsp of hot water in the pan to keep guanciale soft 
  • In a bowl mix the egg yolks, the black pepper, the grated cheese, and add 2 Tbsp of starchy water to make this sauce smooth
  • Cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than is suggested on the package and drain it 
  • Sauté the drained pasta in the pan with the guanciale over medium heat for a minute
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the sauce with eggs, black pepper and cheese, while you continue sautéing the pasta
  • Make sure the sauce remains smooth while sautéing and to avoid the eggs curdling (if you are less comfortable sautéing, consider mixing the ingredients in a bowl)
  • Another possible technique is to sautée pasta on meadium heat with guanciale in a pan with a few Tbs of starchy water and then add the grated cheese, while you continue to sauté the pasta. Then you remove the pan from the stove and add the beaten eggs with black pepper and continue to sauté until smooth 
  • Serve on individual plates, sprinkling some of the remaining grated cheese 


Buon appetito!


Note: traditionally, this dish features raw (or partially cooked) eggs. If you prefer, cook the eggs through while sautéing on medium heat


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