Recipe: Heston’s Carbonara

When I was living in Italy, I was completely taken aback to learn that a traditional carbonara should have no cream in it. It was a staple food when I was flatting, and the sauce was made up of predominantly cream. I have never been a huge fan of cream however, so was pleased to learn that I could still have the creaminess that the dish offers, but could forego the cream itself. Just recently, I was looking through one of Heston Blumenthal’s cookbooks and came across this beauty – unlike most of Heston’s other recipes I was pleased to see that it didn’t require any of the molecular gastronomic techniques he is so well known for. Instead, this recipe is essentially a one pot job, and is a good hearty meal suitable for the whole family. When I made it I used smoked pancetta – and it was absolutely sensational; I would highly recommend. This recipe easily serves six people.


  • 40 g salt
  • 75 g olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 chillis, deseeded
  • 250 g pancetta (or bacon)
  • 400 g spaghetti
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese
  • 250 g frozen peas
  • salt and cracked pepper


  1. Cook pasta.
  2. Separately, cook the olive oil, onions, garlic and chilli for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped pancetta and then cook for a further 7 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and Parmesan in  bowl with a ladle of pasta water.
  5. Add the frozen peas to onions.
  6. Drain the pasta once cooked and add everything to the pasta.


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