Carbonara at Roscioli in Rome: Recipe

Roscioli is one of the best places to eat pasta in Rome. And one of their most famous dishes is, of course, la carbonara. 

Carbonara comes from Rome and Roscioli makes one of the most delicious versions in the city (and, therefore, in the world!) The guanciale is perfectly crunchy, the pasta al dente, and the sauce is heaven. However, learning to make carbonara at home requires patience, skill, and great ingredients. 

To help you on your person quest for the best carbonara, here is the exact recipe used at the Roman institution.

Photo by Maurizio Camagna

Carbonara from Roscioli

Serves 2


180g of Spaghettoni Benedetto Cavalieri

120g guanciale (cured pork jowl)

1 egg + 1 yolk

105g Pecorino Romano

20g Parmigiano Reggiano (vacche rosse 24 months)

Sea salt

10g fresh ground black pepper


Carefully clean the guanciale: remove all the pepper and rind. Cut into slices about 1 cm high and then into cubes of 1 cm. Toast them in a very hot pan over high heat. Wait, without stirring, until the first fat has rendered and one side is crisp and golden. At this point, stir and wait for all the fat to render. Lower the heat and leave the cubes of crispy guanciale for at least 20 minutes. After this time, keep them in a pan close to the stove and above the oven so that they are always crunchy.

Grate the two cheeses with a classic box grater, not the microplane graters that make curls, and combine them.

While the spaghetti is cooking in salted water (it will take 12-13 minutes), beat the eggs in a plastic bowl. Better to use plastic than metal because it is better insulated.

Add a handful of grated cheese, freshly ground pepper and mix. If you can, use a mortar instead of the pepper mill, so that the pepper is not crushed too finely.

When the pasta is almost cooked, drain, taking care to place a couple of ladles of cooking water aside.

Put the drained pasta directly into the bowl with the eggs, pepper and cheese and do this all fairly close to the stove and the heat source.

Leave to rest for about a minute, then add the crispy bacon and a small ladle of its fat. If you can, without stirring the pasta with tongs or ladles, start moving the bowl with circular movements in order to emulsify the cream of eggs, cheese and bacon with the pasta. You need to be quick, possibly with the help of a little of the cooking water you previously set aside.

The magic of a successful carbonara is all in this challenging minute of emulsifying the eggs, cheese and fat of the bacon with the cooking water and the gluten of the pasta itself.

Photo by Maurizio Camagna

Then, place a nest of pasta in the center of the plate and season with extra cheese and pepper.

“The humility, love and sensitivity of the cook who cooks is very important” – Roscioli’s chef Nabil Hadj Hassen.

Photo by Maurizio Camagna

Practice and technique are key to carbonara, but the quality of the ingredients is also fundamental.

Roscioli uses:

Eggs from Paolo Parisi. (You can create a bain-marie to pasteurize the egg by placing the eggs in bowl over boiling water).

Photo by Maurizio Camagna

Pecorino is from Giuseppe Lopez, producer of the Roman countryside, supplier of Roscioli since the time the shop first opened as a gastronomia. Rosicioli is very careful about pecorino, in the first months of the year it becomes very savory, so to contain this savory thrust they blend it with smoother/sweeter pecorino from Puglia.

Guanciale from Paolo Emiliani, a small producer of the Conero that Roscioli searched for years to find. Paolo makes the guanciale just for them, with 45/50 days of seasoning.

Photo by Maurizio Camagna

The pepper comes to Roellinger from Cancale, France. Roscioli opted for this blend of 3 different types of pepper. Indonesia, Vietnam with a slightly smoky note, and Malaysia’s Sarawak. It is a combination that goes best with the egg.

La Salumeria Roscioli is also a gastronomia (gourmet deli store), so you can stop by to buy the ingredients there. 

Salumeria Roscioli

Via dei Giubbonari, 21
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)

+39 06 687 5287



2 thoughts on “Carbonara at Roscioli in Rome: Recipe

  1. Stephen says:

    Amazing, having this at Roscioli in Rome was so incredible! the recipe calls for a lot of cheese by grams, but then only says to use a handful in the egg mixture? Any insight on the amount to use? Thanks again for sharing!

    • Natalie says:

      Good question! I think it depends somewhat on the exact eggs. What I personally do is add enough cheese to get a good paste of egg, yolk, and cheese. I find that helps when the pasta is added.

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