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Maltese sausage carbonara. You will absolutely love this Maltese take on the Italian classic.

Carbonara Recipe | What is it about carbonara? Maybe it’s simplicity? With this Maltese sausage carbonara, we give it a little twist!

Carbonara needs only four ingredients – pasta, guanciale (pork cheek), Pecorino Romano cheese, and pepper. That’s all you need for the classic version. Maybe it is the simplicity of the carbonara that is its source of magic. Here in Malta, we do love our pasta and there are quite a few excellent locations where you can enjoy a good plate of pasta.


So, if you would like to give the dish a Maltese touch though, we are here for you. This Maltese sausage carbonara is not only delicious, but it is also special since it is Samantha’s favourite recipe!

The origins of the carbonara are not exactly known, adding to it that touch of mystery. It is also the cause of much debate when some dare to tinker with its ingredients, usually the case of much indignation and controversy!


There is no specific written evidence for carbonara recipes in any historical cookbook. The mixing of pasta and eggs appears in 1773, in a book called “Il Cuoco Galante” by Neapolitan Vincenzo Corrado. Later in the 18th Century, cheese entered the frame with another Neapolitan man called Francesco Palma describing the use of cheese, eggs, and lard mixed with Macaroni.

The most accepted story regarding the birth of this iconic dish takes us back to 1944. World War II had entered its last phase. A young Bolognese chef called Renato Gualandi was hired to prepare a lunch for the English 8th Army Division and the American 5th Army Division, to be held in newly liberated Riccione.


Making the most of what was available, he managed to create a masterpiece – “The Americans had fantastic bacon, delicious heavy cream, cheese, and powdered egg yolks. I put it all together and served this pasta to the generals and officers for dinner.

At the last moment, I decided to put some black pepper that gave off an excellent taste. I cooked the egg quite ‘runny’ and they were conquered by the pasta” (Source: ). Recently, to celebrate Carbonara Day, Barilla made an exquisite video about this. Brings a tear to your eye!

With time, the dish went through some transformations. In 1954, for example, an Italian food magazine called “La Cucina Italiana”, published its version of the Carbonara, consisting of spaghetti, egg, pancetta, gruyere, and garlic. The cream was a staple ingredient until the late 1980s, whilst other ingredients such as wine, garlic, onion, parsley, sweet pepper, peas, and chili found themselves added to the mix at one point or another.

Carbonara has been well known since it invaded the world around 70 years ago. It is strongly connected to the Italian kitchen and a source of Italian national pride. As much as there are stories about the origins, there are versions of preparing it and the controversies that follow them.


A recently published recipe in the New York Times named “Smoky Tomato Carbonara” not only added tomatoes to the mix but had the cheek (pun intended) to replace the guanciale with bacon because of its wide availability and smokiness. This led to much indignation, especially from the Italian community, some calling to “Stop this Madness” and calling for an end to the “falsification of traditional Italian dishes”.

World renowned chef Gordon Ramsey also seems to have a hard time with it. Early last year he posted a picture of the “most amazing carbonara” on his Twitter page, which revolted Italians labelled as a plate of “yellow soup”, a “joke”, a “caricature”, and a “disgusting mess”. Later the same year, a second attempt included frozen peas, sliced mushrooms and garlic. You can see an Italian chef’s reaction to it here –

So, if you’re looking after a Carbonara recipe (sorry Gordon), a quick Google search will give you plenty of options. Here’s our take on the Maltese sausage one, which we’re confident is not so far away from the proper one and we hope our Italian friends will approve of.

The secret to a perfect silky carbonara is adding the egg mixture while the pasta is off heat. Eggs have a very low boiling point meaning that they will cook at very low temperatures and therefore the heat of the pasta will be enough! The addition of Maltese sausage is the perfect twist to take your carbonara plate to the next level.


This recipe gives you a tip on how to make the easiest sausage meatballs in minutes!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 mins


350g spaghetti 2 tbsp Olive oil 4 Maltese sausages 4 garlic cloves, minced 100g pancetta 50g parmesan cheese whole egg 3egg yolks tbsp chopped parsley 1/2 tbsp Lemon zest Pecorino Romano shavings and parsley to garnish.


1. Cook spaghetti till al dente according to packet. Drain, reserving about 3 tbsp of the pasta water for later.

2. Press out the sausage meat from the skin and roll into meatballs.

3. In a pan on medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the meatballs and cook on both sides until slightly browned.

4. Add the pancetta and garlic and toss and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.

5. Beat the whole egg and yolks together, adding the parmesan cheese, parsley and lemon zest.

6. Add the pasta to the meatball pan, and toss with about 2 tbsp or more (if necessary) of pasta water. Add in the egg mixture and toss. The heat of the pasta should be enough to cook the egg without allowing it to curdle.

7. Serve, garnishing with Pecorino Romano shavings and parsley.


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