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Spaghetti Carbonara for Two

This classic dish is so delicious I always eat more than I should, so I adapted The Kitchn's Spaghetti Carbonara for 6 to make it a recipe for two! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Food, Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Gabby Peyton


  • 1/2 pound dry spaghetti *Note: I always struggle with how much spaghetti this is especially when cooking for two. A good rule of thumb is to use about a quarter's size of uncooked noodles per person — so in this case about 50 cents worth
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces of guanciale or pancetta *Note: more often then not I use the 150 gram President's Choice pancetta
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano *Note:unless you are a stickler for authenticity this is not a necessity like the parm is but it does add a punch of sharpness that is truly delicious
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper
  • sea salt


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water generously (the directions on The Kitchn say it should taste like ocean, which I thought was a great tip! Cook pasta until al dente. Strain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of that salty pasta water.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the guanciale for a few minutes until crispy and delicious and remove from heat.
  3. Whisk up the eggs and cheese, but do not over mix.
  4. Put the pan of guanciale back on medium heat and add half of the pasta water. Toss in the spaghetti and shake pan until most of the water has evaporated.
  5. Take off the stove and add the egg-cheese mixture into the pan and stir quickly, very quickly — if you don't it will turn into a weird scrambled egg mixture. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more pasta water to make it creamy and slick.
  6. Crack that pepper, lots of pepper. Salt to taste. (If you really made your water ocean-y, you probably won’t need to salt)
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy it right away. When it gets cold it's a big CarbonarNO.