The original spaghetti carbonara recipe represents a true institution of traditional Italian cuisine. Pasta carbonara is one of the most loved, discussed, and cooked first courses in Italy and further its frontiers. Therefore, follow my original carbonara recipe to bring Roman cuisine on your plate in only a few minutes.
Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic of Roman cuisine that combines strong flavors with rich taste and creamy consistency. Despite it being a relatively “young” dish born during World War II, carbonara is considered a classic of Italian cuisine that has spread worldwide. Today, this pancetta-egg-parmesan pasta is served even in the fanciest restaurants.
What is Pasta Carbonara – the origin?
Vicolo della Scrofa is one of the most characteristic and symbolic streets of the Italian capital – Rome. The legend says that the first Carbonara has been served in a restaurant on this street in 1944. The most honest story in fact relates the collision between the ingredients available to American soldiers and the fantasy of a talented Roman cook. The result was the prototype of spaghetti carbonara: bacon, eggs, and parmesan. Gradually, the recipe has evolved up to the one we all know today and we can appreciate made at home, served in trattorias, throughout Italy or abroad. Today, spaghetti carbonara is one of the versatile pasta dishes in countless versions – with or without pepper, with one yolk per person or the addition of at least one whole egg, with bacon or pancetta. You simply cannot skip this delicious yet simple Italian pasta recipe.
Ingredients for pasta carbonara
This easy, fast, and scrumptious recipe only involves bacon (or pancetta) cut into strips, a golden cream based on yolks, and a lot of grated parmesan cheese. The carbonara recipe is the cornerstones of genuine Italian cuisine as well as the Italian spirit full of contrasts – it is simple yet rich. See the list below the small list of simple ingredients that will take you to one of the best culinary experiences. Here it is:
- Spaghetti 8 oz
- Pancetta or bacon 10 oz
- Medium egg yolks 6
- Parmesan 3.5 oz
- Black pepper to taste
How to prepare the dressing for carbonara
The carbonara dressing, also known as the egg sauce is prepared in a matter of minutes. You need 1 egg per portion, therefore, if you cook for a company of 6, crack 6 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. For this recipe, you will need the yolks only. Beat the yolks with a fork or use a hand blender. Then grate some parmesan or pecorino and add it to the beaten yolks. Mix everything then sprinkle some black ground pepper and mix. The sauce will be very thick, therefore, take about 2 tablespoons of cooking water from the spaghetti and pour it in the mixture. It will dilute the egg sauce and will incorporate it better when added to the spaghetti. Set aside until needed.
How to prepare spaghetti carbonara
The carbonara can be prepared with spaghetti or short pasta (half sleeves are ideal). Put some water to boil in a large boiling pot, add salt. Cook the pasta/spaghetti to the “al dente” according to the package instructions. In the meantime, remove the rind from the bacon and cut it first into slices and then into thin strips. Then heat a frying pan and add on the sliced bacon. Do not use extra oil. Brown until the fat melts on medium heat. It will take about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn it otherwise it will release too strong an aroma.
By this time, the spaghetti should be ready. Do not drain the spaghetti, just grab them with tongs and toss in the pan with the sauteed bacon. Gently mix the pasta so that each spaghetti will be coated in the melted aromatic bacon fat. Now add the cream made with the beaten eggs and parmesan and mix. Take the pan off the stove. Do not let the egg cook, you don’t want an omelet.
Season with black pepper, mix everything with tongs or using a spaghetti spoon. Add a spoonful of the cooking water to dilute the mixture and to make it very creamy. Serve immediately the spaghetti carbonara flavoring with some extra grated parmesan and ground black pepper to taste.
How to store pasta carbonara
It is best recommended to consume the spaghetti carbonara immediately as cooked. Conservation forms are not recommended because the pasta absorbs the sauce and liquids and becomes too dry. No one likes a second day, dried pasta. It is a very simple recipe, so I strongly advise to have it always recreated right before consuming it.
Spaghetti carbonara tips
- If you can’t find the original Italian pancetta, use the regular bacon
- Do not use oil to fry the bacon. Use the fat from the bacon, it is more than enough.
- Sautee a few minced garlic cloves in the bacon fat for extra aroma.
- Original carbonara recipe indicates to use Pecorino cheese, however, parmesan is a great substitute.
- To make carbonara even more full-bodied, simply add a few tbsp of the cooking water to the pasta.
- Use spaghetti n.3 or the n.5 for finest carbonara results
Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara from Scratch
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 10 oz bacon
- 6 medium egg yolks
- 3.5 oz parmesan
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
Spaghetti Carbonara Dressing
- Crack 6 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Beat the yolks with a fork or use a hand blender. Then grate some parmesan or pecorino and add it to the beaten yolks. Mix everything then sprinkle some black ground pepper and mix.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking water from the spaghetti and pour it in the mixture. Set aside
How to make Spaghetti Carbonara
- Put some water to boil in a large boiling pot, add salt. Cook the pasta/spaghetti to the “al dente” according to the package instructions
- In the meantime, remove the rind from the bacon and cut it first into slices and then into thin strips.
- Heat a frying pan and add on the sliced bacon. Brown until the fat melts on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Do not drain the spaghetti when ready, just grab them with tongs and toss in the pan with the sauteed bacon. Gently mix the pasta so that each spaghetti will be coated in the melted bacon fat
- Add the dressing made with the beaten eggs and parmesan and mix. Take the pan off the stove
- Season with black pepper and serve