Penne alla Carbonara

This is one of the main Italian classics which is often prepared incorrectly. The main reason for this is the discussion about whether or not it should contain cream. According to the renowned River Café it should do, although opinions will greatly differ. We have chosen to add cream. 

Serves around ten people.

Penne alla Carbonara

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pancetta, sliced into matchsticks



olive oil



pasteurised egg yolk



whipping cream



Parmesan cheese, grated



sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



dried pasta (penne)

Preparation method

  • Gently fry the pancetta in olive oil so that the fat melts. Add the pepper.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the cream, salt and pepper, and half of the cheese.
  • Cook the penne in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente and then drain.
  • Mix with the cream mixture and pancetta and serve immediately with the rest of the cheese.

Serving suggestions

  • Combine the sauce with tagliatelle, penne, or rigatoni.
  • If you are using fresh pasta, then use fresh free-range eggs and leave out the cream. Do bear in mind, however, that the yolks will set more quickly. Use 100-125g of fresh pasta per person.
  • Variation tip: add 1.5kg of fresh thin asparagus to the recipe, together with several sprigs of thyme. 

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