Pasta is undoubtedly the most iconic Italian dish being prepared all over the world. Whether it’s a macaroni salad with sun-dried tomatoes or pasta with three cheeses, it’s a particularly versatile dish that doubles up to suit everyone’s cravings. There are, however, some very famous varieties that have become symbols of Italian cuisine. One of them is undoubtedly carbonara, which is undergoing several metamorphoses in different countries. To delight in a traditional flavor, we show you how to make real carbonara pasta, as well as some smart tips to succeed without mistakes. Focus!
What pasta for carbonara?
New to Italian cooking or not, everyone knows that there are different types of pasta and that they are interchangeable in the many recipes. But is this really the case with pasta carbonara? We answer immediately: no! Composed of eggs, cheese and pancetta, the traditional recipe uses spaghetti, as its texture and long shape make it possible to hang the sauce well. Tagliatelle is also a possible option, but if you prefer the authentic experience, it’s best to get classic spaghetti.
Read on to discover the authentic pasta carbonara recipe as well as our tips and tricks to make it a hit like a real Italian!
The traditional pasta recipe with carbonara
Ingredients to get:
- 340 g of spaghetti
- 5 large gems
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano pecorino
- 113 g of chopped pancetta
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti al dente in it. Reserve a cup of cooking water. In a bowl, beat the yolks and whole egg before incorporating the cheeses and set aside. Then heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the pancetta in it, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Transfer the spaghetti to this same pan and cover it with the meat juice. Add 1/2 cup of reserved water and turn off the heat.
Now you have to act quickly: add the egg and cheese mixture to the dough and stir until well combined and the sauce is glossy. If necessary, pour in cooking water. Add the cooked pancetta and mix to combine. Finally, divide into bowls, pepper and serve immediately.
Our 6 tips for successful pasta carbonara like a pro!
Even the most experienced often find the preparation of carbonara a little intimidating. If you can’t invent it the first time, don’t be discouraged, because it can really become a headache. On the contrary, stay zen and take your time! To better help you succeed in this iconic dish, the editorial team offers some smart tips to remember below.
Grate the cheese yourself
The first important step to successful pasta carbonara is grating the cheese yourself and avoiding pre-packaged products sold commercially. For what? Thus, the latter are coated with a powder that prevents them from sticking together and can disturb the flavors. On the other hand, hand-grated cheeses just before cooking will melt better in the sauce and taste better. It is also essential to opt for a high quality product.
use egg yolks
Italians often use egg yolks to make a very creamy sauce, as whites tend to make it watery. However, using a large amount of egg yolks will result in an extremely creamy sauce. Here, the solution is to find the perfect proportion. This one defends five egg yolks and one whole egg.
What to do with the remaining egg whites? Instead of throwing them away, remember to make meringues or Pavlova’s famous recipe!
Eggs at room temperature
The third important tip always concerns eggs. So, for the sauce to be homogeneous, they must be at room temperature. For what? Adding cold eggs to hot pasta can turn the sauce into scrambled eggs.
Store pasta cooking water
A little pasta of cooking water is added to the sauce to make it even more delicious and thicken it if necessary.
put out the fire
This is perhaps the most important step in preparing carbonara. You need to turn off the heat before adding the eggs and cheese, otherwise you run the risk of overcooking your sauce and turning it into scrambled eggs. The still hot pasta and the water from its cooking will cook the egg yolks.
Prepare everything in advance
To succeed in your pasta carbonara like a pro, it’s important to have all the ingredients and utensils on hand. So prepare them in advance. The key moment is the addition of eggs and cheese and we must act quickly. Once incorporated, stir quickly and don’t stop until you have the consistency of heavy cream.