Carbonara sauce that we will prepare together today is the authentic Italian recipe, although as for every traditional recipe, each cook can bring small variations.
Carbonara pasta is a traditional recipe from the Lazio region, and in particular from Rome, and it is one of the most famous pasta recipes in the world. Carbonara sauce is prepared with eggs, jowl bacon, pecorino romano cheese, salt and pepper. As you can see, it is a very caloric recipe, so it should be consumed in moderation. The jowl bacon can be replaced with bacon.
The preparation of carbonara sauce is very, very simple, but there are some tricks and steps that must be respected to have a creamy and tasty sauce, like the one we would eat in Rome!
Ingredients for 4 persons
- 320 g of spaghetti (can also be rigatoni)
- 3 eggs (or 4 yolks)
- 150 g jowl bacon or pancetta
- 40 g pecorino romano cheese (you can buy here)
- Coarse salt
- Black pepper
Cook the pasta. Bring plenty of water to boil, for this quantity of pasta between 3 and 3.5 liters. We are going to wait that it begins to boil to add the coarse salt, for this quantity of water about 30 g. Then we add the pasta (it is not necessary to wait for the salt to dissolve). We have the fire very high so that the water returns to boil immediately. We count the time of cooking since the water returns to boil (we respect the indication of the package for pasta al dente).
Prepare the carbonara sauce. After boiling the water, we start with the preparation of the sauce. We cut our bacon in strips of approximately 1 cm. Brown the bacon in a frying pan over low heat for about 10 minutes. It should not burn, so the heat should be low.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs with the grated pecorino cheese. Season with a little pepper, and with a fork beat to unite everything.
While we were preparing the carbonara sauce, our pasta will be already cooked.
Seasoning the carbonara pasta. We turn off the fire of the frying pan. We strain the pasta, reserving 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the cooking water. Pour the pasta into the pan, over the browned bacon (off the heat), and stir to mix. Immediately pour the egg and cheese sauce on top, and stir immediately to prevent the egg from curdling. If the pasta is dry, add a little of the cooking water, stir and serve.
As you can see, the egg sauce is not cooked on the fire, it cooks a little with the heat of the pasta.
Pecorino Romano cheese is an aged sheep's cheese with an intense and characteristic flavor. We advise you to use this cheese, but if you do not have it, you can replace it with Parmesan cheese. The same if you do not like sheep's cheese.
The guanciale, the jowl bacon, also has a somewhat different taste than bacon or pancetta. But again, as we told you before for the cheese, you can replace it with bacon.
The original carbonara sauce has no cream. The creaminess is achieved by using the sauce as we have indicated: adding it to the pasta just strained off the heat, mixing immediately, and if necessary, adding a little of the pasta cooking water.
In Italy some people use only egg yolks to make the sauce, one per person. Others use yolks and a whole egg, others use whole eggs as we have done. Try the variations to see which one you like best.