Cesare Casella's Spaghetti Carbonara

At Salumeria Rosi, Cesare Casella demonstrates his secret Carbonara recipe.
Erika Keller


  • 3 ounces bacon, pancetta and/or guanciale (sliced 1/8 inch crosswise)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the palm of the hand
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ pound spaghetti
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon grana padano
  • 2 tablespoon pecorino Romano
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Chopped parsley
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Classic spaghetti carbonara: spaghetti, eggs, pecorino Romano, guanciale, and black pepper. Sounds simple enough, right? According to Salumeria Rosi chef Cesare Casella, it is. His secret to perfect carbonara? "Simplicity," he said. "You’ve got to respect the traditional recipe and good ingredients — organic eggs, the best guanciale." That said, he doesn’t have a problem with including cream ("cream lets you make a mistake") or blending meats and cheeses for more complex flavors. Below, the master shares his recipe for this iconic Roman dish.


Combine the pancetta and guanciale with garlic and oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook, adding the red pepper flakes about one minute into cooking. You want to render the fat without crisping the meat, about three to five minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside the meat.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly undercooked.

The pasta can be now added directly to the pan with the bacon. Toss over medium-high heat. Add enough pasta water to the pan to bathe the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is al dente and the water is reduced. Discard the garlic.

Whisk together the cream and black pepper in a large bowl.

Add the cream to the spaghetti-bacon mixture. Toss well to combine and then let the cream reduce.

Add the grated Grana Padano and pecorino Romano and toss until it melts.

Finish the dish with the egg yolks and chopped parsley. Toss over heat for 30 to 60 seconds to warm. Be careful not to overcook or the eggs will scramble. Taste and season. Garnish with extra grated cheese and pepper to taste.


Calories per serving:

1,563 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Sugar Conscious, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 113g 173%
  • Carbs 92g 31%
  • Saturated 44g 221%
  • Fiber 4g 15%
  • Sugars 4g
  • Protein 45g 90%
  • Cholesterol 388mg 129%
  • Sodium 1,410mg 59%
  • Calcium 629mg 63%
  • Magnesium 98mg 25%
  • Potassium 577mg 16%
  • Iron 3mg 17%
  • Zinc 4mg 30%
  • Phosphorus 823mg 118%
  • Vitamin A 1,736IU 35%
  • Vitamin C 2mg 4%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 27%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 29%
  • Niacin (B3) 5mg 27%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 26%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 53µg 13%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 26%
  • Vitamin D 3µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 6mg 28%
  • Vitamin K 20µg 26%
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 51g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 10g
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.

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