What is Carbonara? Carbonara is a pasta dish that originated in Lazio, Italy. It is a pasta in the "style of the coal miner" which basically means, lots of black pepper! While this recipe isn't super traditional, it is close to the real thing and a little easier to make. The trick is to thoroughly mix the cooked pasta with the bacon, pepper, cheese, eggs, and some pasta water; to create a creamy sauce that is not overly thick.
Serving Size: 3-4
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 pack Creste di Gallo (Fusilli, Rigatoni and Campanelle are also great shapes for this sauce)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 oz smoked bacon, cut into 1/4" strips (we suggest Nueske's, but any high quality bacon is good. Or you can use guanciale if you have it..)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (not too fine, not too coarse and too much probably isn't enough.. until it is)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 bunch of chives or scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated (Parmigiano Reggiano is best)
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, finely grated (We like Sini Fulvi)
- Use a microplane to grate hard cheese, the finer the cheese the easier it melts into the sauce.
For this recipe, timing is key. When you begin to render the bacon, as soon as it begins to sizzle start cooking the pasta. The bacon should be crisp and the pasta ready at about the same time.
- In a large fry pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and the bacon over medium-high heat.
- When the bacon begins to sizzle, turn the heat to medium-low.
- As the bacon becomes crispy and brown, turn the heat off.
- TIP! The real secret to a great carbonara is the rendered fat. High quality bacon or guanciale is delicious, and the melted fat adds a layer of flavor that can't be obtained by olive oil or butter.
- Make sure there is at least 2-3 Tbsp of melted bacon fat in the pan, discard the rest.
- Add the freshly ground black pepper, letting it infuse into the rendered fat while it is still hot. This releases the delicious flavor and aroma of freshly ground black pepper. If your really into sourcing your spices, try Tellicherry or Lampong black pepper for something really unique.
- Separately, cook the pasta per package suggestion. Taste to piece to ensure that you are satisfied with the al dente, cook a little more if you prefer.
- When the pasta is cooked add it to the pan with the sauce and about 2-3 Tbsp of pasta water and toss together.
- Add the eggs, grated cheese and chives to the pasta. Immediately proceed to the next step.
- Stir & toss together quickly and thoroughly over no/low heat.
- When the sauce thickens, its ready!
- Garnish with any extra grated parmesan.
The artisan pasta that works best with this dish can be purchased at www.dellaterrapasta.com
Carbonara pasta easy!