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Neil joins long time friend and fellow chef Steve Manfredi to learn the secret of a perfect Carbonara the italian way!
This is essentially a Roman dish and, like many well-loved dishes, has been tampered with by chefs and home cooks to the point where the original, elegantly simple preparation has been lost.
The Italian original uses air-dried pork cheek- guanciale- not bacon, which in any case is smoked.
While it is difficult or near impossible to get here in Australia, air-dried pork belly- pancetta- is acceptable.
It contains no cream- an infuriatingly silly addition that seems to have gained in popularity.


  • 120 g pancetta cut into small pieces

  • 2 large cloves Garlic minced

  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Salt

  • 2 Eggs

  • 0.33 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese or Pecorino Romano

  • 0.25 cup finely chopped Flat-leaf parsley

  • 500 g Spaghetti

  • Freshly ground Black pepper


  • 1.

    Put a large pot of water on for the pasta.

  • 2.

    While it is coming to the boil, place the olive oil and pancetta in a saucepan on a very low heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic.

  • 3.

    The pancetta should brown very slowly for another 5 minutes.

  • 4.

    Stir it occasionally until the pancetta is crisp.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, beat the eggs together with the parsley and a little salt. When the water comes to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and cook the spaghetti until it is al dente.

  • 6.

    Drain it well, and then place it in a serving bowl.

  • 7.

    Add the pancetta, garlic and cooking juices to the pasta and toss.

  • 8.

    Now add the egg mixture, cheese and some freshly grated pepper and toss quickly.

  • 9.

    Serve it hot, straight away.

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Posted by Julie418Report
This is one of my favorite meals! I sure will try this recipe!
Posted by SuzanVReport
What is with the 0.33cup & 0.25cup???? What's that in normal measurements for goodness sakes lol
Posted by LorraineReport
I never liked Spaghetti Carbonara until I tried this one. Now I cook it all the time. It is sooo much better without the cream!
Posted by JD130Report
Was wondering if anyone else noticed the black bug that appeared on the raddichio that Neil Perry was chopping during the video for the Carbonara ? !!!!!!
Posted by puskasReport
it's a great dish to cook, very easy and tasty. the video helped alot thanx for that!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by ClydeReport
I have been cooking this one for years and its fantastic. Rick Stein does a similar Carbonara but he puts the pasta (when cooked) in the pan with the panchetta, adds the egg etc and cheese and stirs. Top with more cheese when serving.
Posted by DL97Report
Making it yet again tonight!!
Posted by DL97Report
I am still making this dish on a regular basis---NOTHING beats the genuine article !!
Posted by DL97Report
I am still making this dish on a regular basis---- nothing beats the genuine article!!
Posted by LittleGourmetReport
mmm looks delicious :)