Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

Spaghetti carbonara is one of the most popular and delicious pasta dishes in the world. It originated in Rome, Italy, and it consists of spaghetti tossed with a creamy sauce made of eggs, cheese, and bacon. It is simple to make, but it requires some skill and timing to get it right.

In this article, I will show you how to make spaghetti carbonara following the recipe of Delia Smith, a famous British cook and author. Delia Smith has been cooking for over 50 years and has published many books and TV shows. She is known for her clear and easy-to-follow instructions and her passion for quality ingredients.

Delia Smith’s spaghetti carbonara recipe is based on the traditional Italian version, using pancetta (cured pork belly) and Pecorino Romano cheese (a hard sheep’s milk cheese). She also adds some cream to the egg mixture, which makes the sauce richer and smoother. She uses linguine instead of spaghetti, but you can use any long pasta you like.

What is Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara?

Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara is a pasta dish made with linguine, pancetta, eggs, cream, and Pecorino Romano cheese. It is based on the traditional Roman recipe for spaghetti carbonara but with some variations. Delia Smith is a famous British cook and author who has been sharing her recipes for over 50 years.

What ingredients do you need to make Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara?

To make Delia Smith’s spaghetti carbonara recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 225g dried linguine or spaghetti
  • 150g sliced smoked pancetta
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra yolks
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 50g grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving

Instruction to Make Spaghetti Carbonara Delia Smith

To make Delia Smith’s spaghetti carbonara recipe, follow these steps:

Step 1: Cook the pasta

First, heat some pasta bowls ready for serving. Then, in a large saucepan, heat 2.25 liters of salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions, until al dente (firm but not hard). Drain it quickly in a colander, leaving a little of the moisture still clinging.

Step 2: Fry the pancetta

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the pancetta without any extra oil until it is crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic cloves that were used to flavor the oil.

Step 3: Make the sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, cream, pepper, and cheese until well combined.

Step 4: Toss everything together

Now quickly return the pasta to the saucepan and add the pancetta and any oil in the pan, along with the egg mixture. Stir very thoroughly, so that everything gets a good coating. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs slightly, creating a creamy sauce that coats each strand.

Step 5: Serve hot

Serve the pasta on really hot deep plates with some extra grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top. Enjoy your delicious spaghetti carbonara!

Instruction to Make Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara?

Elevate your Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara experience by complementing it with the right accompaniments:

  • Salad: A vibrant green salad with a light vinaigrette sets the stage.
  • Bread: Crusty, freshly baked bread is perfect for soaking up the luxurious sauce.
  • Wine: A chilled glass of white wine provides a crisp counterpoint to the creamy textures.
  • Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley or basil adds a pop of color and aromatic zest.
  • Protein: Grilled chicken or a delicate fish fillet can lend an additional layer of depth to the meal.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara

Here are some pro tips to make perfect Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara:

  • Use good quality pasta, preferably linguine or spaghetti, and cook it al dente (firm but not hard).
  • Use pancetta or guanciale (cured pork cheek) instead of bacon for a more authentic flavor.
  • Use Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmesan cheese if you can find it. It has a sharper and saltier taste that complements the dish well.
  • Whisk the eggs, yolks, cream, pepper, and cheese well in a bowl before adding them to the pasta. This will ensure a smooth and creamy sauce that coats each strand.
  • Work quickly and serve hot. The pasta will continue to cook the eggs as you toss them together, so don’t overcook them or let them sit for too long.

How do I store Spaghetti Carbonara Leftovers?

While Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara is best savored immediately if you have to save some for later:

  • Container: Use an airtight container for best results.
  • Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Note: Over time, the sauce might lose some of its original zest and texture.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara Leftovers?

If you’re revisiting the leftovers of this culinary masterpiece:

  • Microwave: Heat in short 30-second bursts, stirring between each to ensure even warmth, until hot and creamy.
  • Stovetop: Gently warm in a skillet over low-medium heat, stirring as needed. If the sauce thickens, add a splash of water or cream to restore its creaminess.


Can I use pancetta instead of bacon for Delia Smith Spaghetti Carbonara?

Absolutely! While traditional Spaghetti Carbonara often uses guanciale (pork cheek) or pancetta (Italian bacon), many versions, including Delia Smith’s, might recommend regular bacon. Pancetta is slightly saltier with a more robust flavor, which can elevate the taste of the dish. Just ensure it’s diced into small bits and crisped up nicely before adding to your pasta.

My Carbonara sauce turned out too runny. What did I do wrong?

If your Carbonara sauce is too runny, it might be due to the pasta being too wet when adding the egg mixture or the residual heat not being enough to thicken the sauce. Next time, ensure you drain your pasta thoroughly and consider saving a cup of pasta water. Introduce the pasta water little by little as you mix, ensuring you achieve the desired creamy consistency. Additionally, make sure your egg and cheese mixture is well combined before adding it to the hot pasta.

How can I make a vegetarian version of Delia Smith’s Spaghetti Carbonara?

To make a vegetarian version of Spaghetti Carbonara, you can omit the bacon and replace it with a meat substitute like smoked tempeh or a mushroom variety, such as shiitake or cremini, to provide that smoky, umami flavor. Ensure you sauté your substitute well to draw out maximum flavor. Always check the cheese used, as traditional Pecorino Romano might contain animal rennet. Opt for a vegetarian-friendly hard cheese as a substitute.

Final Words

Spaghetti carbonara is a classic Italian dish that is easy to make at home with simple ingredients. Delia Smith’s recipe is one of the best versions I know, as it uses high-quality ingredients and has a perfect balance of flavors and textures. It is a great dish for any occasion, whether you want a quick weeknight meal or a fancy dinner party.

I hope you enjoyed this article on Delia Smith’s spaghetti carbonara recipe. If you try it out, let me know how it turns out in the comments below. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me anytime. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking!



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