Rigatoni alla Carbonara Recipe

Make this fool-proof Roman pasta recipe by tossing a sauce of gently cooked egg yolks, pecorino cheese, and freshly ground black pepper with al dente pasta and crispy guanciale.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes


3 ounces|85 grams guanciale, cut into lardons
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup|1 ounce|30 grams freshly grated Pecorino 
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups|4 ounces|113 grams rigatoni


  1. Heat the guanciale in a small skillet over medium. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl to allow the guanciale to drain, saving the fat that drips into the bowl. 
  2. Heat a medium saucepan of mildly seasoned water. Don’t over-season your pasta water here as you normally would—this dish has a lot of salty elements (the pork, the cheeses), so adding too much isn’t necessary in this case. 
  3. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs over the heat of the steam from the pot of water to cook them slightly. Add the cheese and whisk again over the heat to melt the cheese. Add about ¼ cup|60 ml water and crank in a good amount of black pepper, then set aside.
  4. Bring the saucepan of water to a boil and add the rigatoni. Cook until al dente according to the package instructions, then, using a slotted spoon, scoop out the pasta and add it to the bowl with the sauce along with the reserved guanciale. Toss to combine, adding a touch of reserved pasta water and maybe a splash of the fat from the guanciale as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Transfer to a bowl and serve (or just eat it right from the bowl it's already in!). 

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