Main dish Recipes

Creamy spaghetti carbonara recipe with Džiugas cheese

Spaghetti carbonara is a dish I adore, but finding pecorino and parmesan cheeses can be tricky and expensive where I live. So, I’ve tried using Lithuanian Džiugas cheese instead. My favorite Džiugas cheese is aged for 12 months as its taste reminds me of parmesan. Just a tip: avoid using older Džiugas cheese, as it can be quite strong in flavor.

What is carbonara?

Originating in the mid-20th century, carbonara is a pasta dish featuring eggs, hard cheese, fatty cured pork, and a generous sprinkling of black pepper. While pecorino romano is traditionally used, variations may incorporate Parmesan, Grana Padano, or a blend of cheeses.

The original carbonara recipe consists of guanciale (cured pork), eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, spaghetti pasta, and a liberal dose of black pepper. Authentic Italian carbonara does not include additional ingredients like cream, milk, garlic, or onions.

Creamy carbonara with dziugas cheese

Ingredients for authentic carbonara recipe

My recipe is not an authentic Italian dish. So for those aiming for an authentic creamy carbonara recipe, here are the recommended substitutes:
Cheese: originally can use pecorino, parmesan or mix of parmesan with pecorino.
Meat: guanciale.

However, please refrain from adding milk or cream to the recipe, as the eggs provide more than enough creaminess on their own.

Reheating carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara is best eaten fresh out of the pot for maximum flavor and texture. Its delicate flavors and creamy texture may be affected by reheating. On the other hand, it’s better to reheat leftovers slowly on the pan if you find yourself in this situation.

Reheat the spaghetti carbonara by adding a little bit of water to a pan over low heat. For around 10 minutes, stir constantly until the pasta regains its creamy consistency. Though this technique can help preserve the meal’s creaminess. But keep in mind that reheating could not bring the dish back to its previous level of freshness.

Creamy carbonara with dziugas cheese

Creamy spaghetti carbonara recipe with Džiugas cheese

Creamy carbonara recipe with Džiugas cheese. Perfect for spaghetti lovers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 662 kcal


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 90 g grated 12 month old Dziugas cheese
  • 75 g pancetta (I use PANCETTA AFFUMICATA)
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 180 g spaghetti
  • 400 ml spaghetti water


  • Make the Egg Mixture: In a bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Season with black pepper and add grated cheese. Whisk well until combined. Set aside.
  • Cook the Spaghetti: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and then the spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions for "al dente" (slightly firm to the bite).
  • Temper the Egg Mixture: While the spaghetti cooks, reserve about 200ml of the starchy pasta water in a separate container. Let it cool for a minute, then add it to the egg and cheese mixture. Whisk quickly until everything is thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • Cook the Pancetta: If you have a piece of pancetta then cut it into small cubes. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta cubes and cook until golden brown and crispy.
  • Combine Everything (Two Options):
    Option 1 (Spaghetti Cooked): If the spaghetti is already cooked, drain it, reserving some pasta water (about 200ml). Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta and pour in half of the reserved water. Mix everything for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and pour the egg-cheese mixture into the pan. Quickly toss everything together with a silicone spatula. Add the remaining reserved water. The sauce will thicken up quickly due to the hot pan and pasta water. Continue tossing until everything is well combined and the sauce thickens.
    Option 2 (Spaghetti Not Cooked): If the spaghetti is not quite cooked yet but the pancetta is done, then turn off the heat under the pancetta once it's browned. Set the pancetta aside. Finish cooking the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain, reserving some pasta water (about 200ml). Follow the steps in Option 1, adding the cooked spaghetti and reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta.
  • Serve: Plate the spaghetti and pancetta mixture. Season with additional black pepper and grated cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Keyword carbonara, creamy carbonara recipe, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti carbonara with dziugas cheese

Nutrition table of creamy carbonara recipe

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving100 g
Calories152 Kcal
Energy value640 kJ
Fat7 g
Saturated Fat3 g
Carbs15 g
Sugar1 g
Protein10 g
Salt1 g

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