Much has been written about this Italian dish. I will not introduce it to you as the authentic, nor the best. But I will introduce it to you as my favorite carbonara.
When I was in college I was eating tons of pasta. Back then I thought that carbonara was a dish based on mushrooms (no), any cheese that melts (still no) and heavy cream (for God’s sake no).
Only imagine my face when my aunt Angie told me “Teti, the sauce of carbonara is made with egg.”
Don’t judge me, I was 22.
The ingredients for an authentic carbonara
After this quick chat with my aunt I started searching for the basic ingredients of a carbonara. If you wanna follow me to this path set aside the bacon, heavy cream and melting cheese. Authentic carbonara is based exclusively on the following ingredients:
The authentic recipe for carbonara has guanciale and not bacon or pancetta. The guanciale is made from pork cheek, has more fat than the pancetta and is pepper coated. Personally, after browning it and the fat has rendered, I remove almost half. I have tried the recipe without removing the fat but it was too greasy for me.
The egg-cheese sauce has pecorino cheese. If you want to stay authentic, use only pecorino. Me? Well, I can’t resist to parmesan. So, in my recipe instead of pecorino I have used parmesan.
There is only one thing in which you have to pay extra attention: the yolks of the eggs.
Carbonara sauce is made my egg yolks and grated cheese. In order to make the sauce creamy we add hot water from the pot where the pasta is boiling. When adding the hot water we should be very careful and stir the mixture with a fork. If not, the yolks due to the high temperature of the water will be cooked.
My tip that will lead you to the success is one: stay organized. What I mean is that sauce and pasta should be ready at the same time. So, before you start, you need to tune in well so that sauce and pasta to be ready at the same time. Your steps should be specific:
- Boil the pasta
- Brown the guanciale
- Stir yolks and cheese
- Blend them together
and finally enjoy!
Also, have in mind to reserve some pasta water in case the sauce is too thick.
My favorite carbonara with egg sauce
- 500 gr pasta
- 200 gr guanciale or pancetta, diced into cubes
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 egg yolks
- 150-200 gr grated pecorino or parmesan
- freshly ground pepper
- finely chopped parsley optional
- In a large pot add 5 liters of water and bring to boil. Add 2 tbsp of salt and then the pasta. Have in mind that we will boil the pasta al dente.
- Dice guanciale into cubes and peel the garlic clove. Do not chop the garlic clove, we will remove it from the pan. Just crush with the palm of your hand.
- In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, add the guanciale. Once it starts to melt, reduce the heat slightly and add the clove of garlic. Cook the guanciale until it starts to crisp up and has rendered its fat.
- While the pasta is cooking and the guanciale is on the pan start preparing the sauce mixture. In a large bowl add the grated parmesan and egg yolks. Mix with a fork until well combined and set aside.
- Take half a cup of water from the saucepan of boiling spaghetti and add it to the egg-cheese mixture. By using a fork stir the mixture very quickly to prevent the egg from being cooked.
- Just before removing the pasta from the pot, add 2-3 forkful of pasta to the egg-cheese mixture. Stir and set aside.
- If you want a not so greasy pasta dish, remove some of the guanciale rendered fat from the pan. I removed almost half. Remove the garlic and add 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Stir.
- Add the pasta to the pan. Stir and remove from the heat.
- Add the cheese-egg mixture and mix well. The residual heat will cook the eggs but work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Add fresh ground pepper and chopped parsley (optional).
So what do you say? Will you try this almost authentic carbonara recipe? If yes, just remember to pay attention to the egg yolks when combining with the water pasta and when adding the egg-cheese mixture to the pan.
This was my second pasta for Saturday, if you missed the first check here for the recipe.