Classic Spaghetti Carbonara without cream

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara without cream

All the secrets to make classic spaghetti carbonara without cream.

Follow my advice and discover how to make the classic spaghetti carbonara without cream.

Spaghetti carbonara represents a true institution of traditional Italian cuisine.

It is one of the most loved and most imitated Italian first courses in the world. A classic of Roman cuisine that combines strong flavors with crunchy, and creamy consistencies.

For us Italians, this dish is a cult!

For the foreigner, a mysterious recipe often made with many mistakes, obtaining a completely wrong dish.

To make spaghetti carbonara following the Italian traditions it is simple but there are precise rules and techniques to be respected.

Let’s see together what are the mistakes to avoid to make classic spaghetti carbonara without cream.

The most common mistake is to replace and add ingredients that have nothing to do with the real recipe. The ingredients often added in the Italian spaghetti carbonara recipe are garlic, onion, parsley, and cream.

Also, many chefs don’t know what is guanciale and replace it with bacon or pancetta. They also replace pecorino romano cheese with parmesan cheese. Another mistake is to scramble eggs when mixing pasta with sauce. But the most unforgivable mistake is the addition of cream!

To make the perfect carbonara spaghetti following the Italian tradition, we only need a few ingredients:

Pasta. Guanciale. Pecorino Romano. Eggs. Salt, and Fresh ground black pepper.

Nothing else!

From the type of pasta to the technique for a classic creamy spaghetti carbonara 

What kind of pasta do we need to make traditional carbonara? The most common recipe calls for spaghetti, but you can also use rigatoni, penne, tagliatelle, bucatini …

There is no specific rule!

There are those who prefer long pasta, some who prefer a short one: the important thing is that you like it.

The guanciale: as I anticipated, the cooking of the guanciale is crucial.

It has a more delicate and fatter flavor than pancetta which, being leaner, would become too dry and would not release the fat that is necessary to give the pasta an extraordinary flavor. Remember to cut the guanciale into 1 cm. thick strips or cubes, and brown it on a low heat to melt the fat. Make it crispy on the outside but keep it moist on the inside: in this way, it will be a pleasure for the palate!

Now let’s go discover how to make a fantastic and creamy traditional Italian spaghetti carbonara.

Follow me in the kitchen.

First of all, to make a perfect carbonara we need good quality ingredients.

Get a piece of medium-aged pecorino romano and a piece of guanciale, and above all, rule number one: forget about bacon … and cream!

Let’s start:

Boil a pot of water to cook the spaghetti. Already for this phase, I give you the first secret for a perfect carbonara: add a little salt! Being salted, the pecorino and the bacon will help to give the right flavor to the dish.

While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon into cubes or strips after removing the rind.

Heat a non-stick pan and sauté the bacon with a drizzle of oil. The secret at this stage is cutting the meat: do not cut it too thin, but thick enough (about 1 cm.) To make it crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside! Turn off the heat once it becomes crispy. You will notice that the melting fat of the pillow turned into oil. And that’s exactly what will give your pasta a particular flavor.

fry guanciale

In the meantime, let’s prepare the sauce. One of the rules for doses is to put one yolk and a whole egg each portion. With this dosage, the dish will turn out nice creamy.

Beat the eggs with a fork, add the grated pecorino cheese, and a few tablespoons of cold water. Mix everything well until you get a creamy consistency

Finish with black pepper, better if freshly ground.

We have finally reached the last steps.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and pour it into the pan.

spaghetti with guanciale for classic spaghetti carbonara without cream

Mix it in the fat released from the bacon, adding a little cooking water to help the pasta release starches.

stirring classic spaghetti carbonara without cream

Remember to keep aside a ladle of the cooking water, which if you need it later will help the sauce to be moist and creamy. Turn off the heat. Wait a minute and add the egg and pecorino cream to the pasta with the bacon, stir by turning with a wooden spoon. In this way, the egg will not cook quickly and will not become scrambled but creamy.

Finish the dish with a sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese and ground pepper.

The Classic spaghetti carbonara without cream is finally ready. Enjoy your meal!


Spaghetti alla carbonara: the original recipe
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

The real and original recipe made with Guanciale, Spaghetti, eggs, and Pecorino Romano cheese
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA, the original recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 450kcal
Author Authentic Italian Cuisine


  • 180 gr Spaghetti
  • 70 gr Guanciale or Pancetta
  • 40 gr Grated Pecorino Romano cheese Alternatively use Parmesan cheese but the taste will be different.
  • 2 Fresh Eggs
  • 2 Fresh eggs yolk
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. 
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cut Guanciale into 1 cm. thick cubes or strips.
  • In a large pan, add 1 tbs of olive oil and fry the guanciale over medium heat until crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    fry guanciale
  • In a bowl whisk the eggs with the Grated Pecorino Romano cheese adding a tbs of cold water if it is too thick.
  • When the spaghetti is cooked al dente drain and pour them in the pan with the guanciale, toss well in order to flavor the spaghetti.
    spaghetti with guanciale for classic spaghetti carbonara without cream
  •  Turn off the heat 
  • Add into the pan the mixture of eggs and toss well; the heath of the spaghetti and the pan will cook the eggs gently.
    stirring classic spaghetti carbonara without cream
  • Serve adding freshly ground black pepper and a teaspoon of grated pecorino cheese.



To create the carbonara cream, the eggs must absolutely cook slowly only with the heat of the pasta, otherwise, they will scramble.
If the dish does get a little dry before serving, splash in some more pasta water and the glossy sauciness will be revived.

3 thoughts on “Classic Spaghetti Carbonara without cream”

  • 5 stars
    Thanks! Great instructions, both the video and text. I think the result was a success; at least I and my boys ate everything! Next time, I need to find guanciale. This time I had to replace with bacon.

    • Thank you, Herman.
      If you can’t find the guanciale, the only alternative is to use pancetta. Know that with the guanciale it is a completely different taste.

  • I’ve used all three types of bacon and I find that American bacon is best followed by pancetta and guanciale but if you want the best carbonara use all three plus add prosciutto which puts it over the top or just add to one of the aforementioned bacons the prosciutto just turns it a whole new beast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating