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Carina Contini's Spaghetti Alla Carbonara recipe

Eat the Italians and don't accept cheap imitations

Published: June 20, 2015
Categories: ,

The bolognese sauce we all know and love comes from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and spaghetti comes from Campagna. Their origins are hundreds of miles apart and were never meant to meet. A classic egg papardelle would be the perfect pasta to go with the rich meat recipe. Yes spaghetti and bolognese tastes good, but homemade papardelle and bolognese tastes melt-in-the-mouth amazing.

I sometimes sound like a broken record when it comes to food principles. I don’t want to turn into Victor Meldrew, but what really makes me sad is the fraud that exists in our food chain. We all remember the horsemeat scandal, but the truth is too many brands are covering up where their produce comes from with brilliant packaging and clever marketing and making huge profits from doing so. And the innocent stand accused of being expensive.

Last month there was a brilliant story in the Italian media about food labelled with the national colours and featuring the word “bellissimo” but it was made from ingredients that had never seen the sunshine of Italia. Canada alone buys $3.6 billion of pretend Italian food each year. The Italian government is championing a Made in Italy campaign supported by certifications like DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) or IGP (Indication of Geographical Protection).

We risk endorsing food fraud if we buy into clever branding. As the article said, when you are buying Italian you should be buying part of the country itself; the richness of the soil, sun, passion, heritage, quality and love that has been handed down from one generation to the next.


Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is a traditional dish originally made by the Neapolitan charcoal burners on open fires. Note: no cream, no onion, no Parmigiano and no mushrooms – EVER!


1 Fry the pancetta until soft and slightly crispy in the oil.

Modern Scottish recipe: Roast salmon with wilted spinach and Old Pulteney whisky cream reduction

2 Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the parsley, pepper and Pecorino, beat lightly with a fork.

3 Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente, strain and then quickly toss in beside the pancetta. Transfer to the bowl with the egg and mix through.

4 Serve immediately. The egg will be slightly wet but that’s what you want. (If you’ve got scrambled eggs you’ve done something wrong).


Drink recipe: Cadbury Creme Egg Frappuccino




Drink recipe: Rum Old Fashioned


  • 225g spaghetti
  • 3 organic free-range eggs
  • 125g pancetta affumicata
  • 125g Pecorino Romano
  • Small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
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