At a quaint, off the beaten path café in Amalfi, Italy, I had the best carbonara I’ve ever had (and one of the single best pasta dishes I’ve ever had). The family that owned this café was so happy that we loved their pasta, that they invited me into their kitchen to watch the magic happen. It was one of the best moments of my life!!
This “Amalfi style” includes the five standards ingredients in Roman carbonara (spaghetti, pancetta/guanciale, eggs, cheese, and black pepper), but it also includes whole milk and shallots.
Still – this recipe doesn’t include cream or peas that you’d typically see in carbonara throughout the US! This Amalfi carbonara is still delicate like the Roman version, but it has just a bit more creaminess with a touch of sharpness from the shallot.
I was so lucky to be able to watch and cook carbonara with a pro. Here’s how she made carbonara as I remember it. She didn’t measure out ingredients, so I’ve experimented with the recipe to recreate it just how I remember it tasting! Check out my blog post with a video of the whole experience here!
Vibing the Roman version more, or want to cook up a comparison? Here’s the Roman recipe!
- 1 pound good-quality spaghetti
- 8 ounces pancetta or guanciale, which is fattier and gamier
- 1 ½ cup parmigiano reggiano plus more to garnish
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 shallots chopped
- 3 large eggs you can substitute pasteurized eggs if you prefer!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- In a bowl, whisk together milk, egg, cheese, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Begin boiling spaghetti to al dente, according to cooking instructions on box.
- In a separate large pot, sauté pancetta in a dry pan until it just starts to get crispy, about 5-8 minutes over medium heat. Drain extra fat (the liquid in the pan!). Add shallots (and a dash of olive oil if needed) and sweat them for about 2 minutes. Then turn heat to low to keep ingredients warm.
- Drain pasta and add to pancetta/shallot pot. Use tongs to combine. Turn stove off, and add egg mixture, stirring into hot pasta, pancetta and shallots. Stir constantly until all ingredients are steaming hot.
- Serve immediately with more grated cheese and black pepper! OH MY!!