Carbonara alla Angela

Some years ago, I travelled to Northern Italy with my daughters (they were three at the time). We stayed in a wonderful, 15th century villa not far from Verona. It was my first time in Italy, and I told the girls we would be doing plenty of eating.

My enduring memory of this trip is the gusto with which my children devoured their food. Eliza, who had previously been quite unadventurous with her chow, discovered Spaghetti Carbonara and has relished it ever since.

I had not eaten a Carbonara since that trip that reached the culinary heights of those evenings in Verona, Milan and Venice. That is until I ate Angela’s version in Los Angeles. I eat it regularly, perhaps a little too regularly, and guzzle it down with a good beer.

This recipe makes enough for two good servings.


  • Spaghetti or linguine
  • ½ lb of Pancetta (less or more to suit your taste)
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesean (Reggiano)
  • 3 egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 2 fl oz of cream (room temperature)
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  • Large saucepan
  • Skillet
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Parmesean grater
  • Knife
  • Chopping board


  1. Bring to the boil a large pan of salted water.
  2. Dice the pancetta and fry in a dash of olive oil until cooked through.
  3. Combine the egg yolks, cream and half the parsley and mix well.
  4. Cook the pasta to your taste, then drain and immediately transfer to the mixture.
  5. Add the pancetta and stir through.
  6. Serve with the remainder of the parsley sprinkled over, a little more parmesean and some fresh ground peper.

What you should know

It has become increasingly commonplace to use regular bacon instead of pancetta. I suspect the large supermarkets are to blame for this, many of which inexplicably do not sell pancetta. It really is worth hunting down some good pancetta for this recipe. It makes all the difference.

Angela sometimes places the bowl containing the eggs and cream over the pan of boiling water for a minute or so, just to warm it a little. And she always serves it on warmed plates.

Re: Carbonara alla Angela

Actually, if you can find it, go for the cured pig jowell (instead of pancetta). But if you are having a difficult time finding pancetta, you may be out of luck.

It’s called Guanciale. Maybe you can talk to these guys about shipping… http://www.fattedcalf.com

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.

Re: Carbonara alla Angela

Thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a shot. Is it worth making a trip to Northern California for The Fatted Calf? It’s the kind of crazy thing I would do!

Re: Carbonara alla Angela