How To Make The Best Carbonara Ever

Controversy: you don't add cream.

Think about your favourite pasta dish. And forget about what the healthiest one is. The one you'd eat three bowls of right now if you could.

It's carbonara, isn't it?

Carbonara is the king of all pasta dishes, but it's so easy to get wrong. So, so wrong.

Traditional carbonara is supposed to contain only a few ingredients: spaghetti, eggs, cheese, cured pork, salt and black pepper.

"Carbonara is pasta, cheese and pork -- what is there not to love?" Ben Varela, executive head chef at Public House Management Group, told The Huffington Post Australia.

Less is more when it comes to carbonara.
Less is more when it comes to carbonara.

Contrary to popular belief, carbonara does not contain cream. Seriously.

"Authentic carbonara showcases the cheese. Common carbonara uses reduced cream," Varela said. "I personally don't add cream because I feel that it takes away from the dish."

Essentially, using cream is an easy method of making this popular Italian dish, as raw egg stirred through hot spaghetti tends to... scramble.

"If you don't work the egg mixture in quickly enough they will scramble instead of coating the pasta," Varela.

If you do want to jazz up this dish and make it truly authentic, Varela recommends buying high quality ingredients, such as fresh free range eggs, spaghetti and cheese.

"Quality ingredients is the key, like Parmigiano Reggiano."

Here is the best ever carbonara recipe from a top chef.

Spaghetti carbonara

Serves six.


  • 500g spaghetti
  • 4 large free range eggs, as fresh as possible
  • 250g pancetta, cut into lardons
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt


  1. Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  2. Whilst your pasta is cooking, sauté the lardons in a pan until golden and the fat is rendered out.
  3. Mix the eggs and cheese together in a bowl.
  4. When spaghetti is al dente, drain off your pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.
  5. Take the pasta water and deglaze your pan containing the pancetta.
  6. Take the pan off the heat, and add your pasta, the egg and Parmesan mix, and mix in quickly so you do not scramble the eggs.
  7. Season with cracked pepper and sea salt. Serve immediately.
When in doubt, add more Parmesan.
When in doubt, add more Parmesan.

Be still, my beating heart.