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Gino's Italian masterclass - His signature carbonara

Cream? Eggs? Ham?

If there's one recipe that's caused a right old kerfuffle over the years it's Gino's carbonara!

He'll be setting the record straight once and for all, as he shows us the right way to make the traditional dish - in the first of his Italian masterclasses. 


Serves 4


220g Bucatini pasta

100g guanciale (or pancetta if you can’t find this)

60g freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for sprinkling 

5 fresh egg yolks

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Fill a large saucepan with 3 litres of water, add in 1 and ½ tablespoons of salt and place on a high heat. Bring to the boil.

2. With a sharp knife, slice and discard the tough skin around the fat side of the guanciale. Slice the remaining guanciale lengthways, about ½ cm thick, and create small strips about 3cm long. Set aside.

3. Cook the pasta in the salted boiling water for 1 minute less than instructed on the packet, giving you that perfect al dente bite, stir occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat and add in the guanciale. Fry for 6 minutes, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.

5. Pour the yolks into a small bowl and add in the Pecorino Romano and black pepper. With the help of a fork, mix the 3 ingredients together and keep mixing until well combined. Pour in ½ ladle of the salted boiling water from the saucepan where you are cooking the pasta and continue to mix until you create a thick cream texture. The Pecorino Romano cheese will start melting into the egg yolks. Set aside.

6. With the help of large tongs, pick the pasta and tip into the frying pan with the guanciale and place over a high heat. Do not discard the water where you cooked the pasta, you will need it later.

7. Mix the pasta and guanciale over a high heat for 30 seconds. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon.

8. Switch off the heat and immediately pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta.

9. Quickly start to mix all together for 30 seconds, making sure each strand of pasta is coated with the egg mixture. Pour 1 full ladle of the hot salted water over the pasta and continue to stir for a further 30 seconds, creating a beautiful creamy texture around the pasta. If needed you can add a little more hot salted water.

10. Serve immediately with a little sprinkle of black pepper on top and a little sprinkle of Pecorino Romano. Fantastic served with a cold Italian beer! 

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