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Plate of Anchovy Carbonara.

Anchovy Carbonara

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


This delicious Anchovy Carbonara recipe is a seafood, store cupboard twist on the creamy Italian classic, made traditionally with eggs, pecorino and a splash of pasta cooking water.


  • 200g pasta shapes or spaghetti
  • sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g grated pecorino (see note), plus extra for serving
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 anchovies packed in oil, plus 1/2 tsp of oil from the jar


  1. Cook the pasta as per the packets instructions in a pan of salted water. I usually start checking around the 12-14 minute mark if I’ve not used the brand and shape before.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together then eggs, pecorino, a generous amount of black pepper and the 1/2 tsp of oil from the anchovy jar. Don’t be tempted to add any salt: with the seasoned pasta, anchovies and cheese the carbonara will be salted enough already! Chop the anchovies and stir them into the mixture.
  3. Drain the pasta – reserving a little cooking water – and tip it into the bowl with the eggs and cheese. Using a large metal spoon, stir until the sauce has thickened and is clinging to the pasta. If it needs thinning a little, add a little cooking water.
  4. Serve immediately in warm bowls topped with more cheese and a little more black pepper.


Don’t use pre-grated cheese as usually things are added to stop it clumping that will mess with your carbonara!