There is only One authentic Italian carbonara spaghetti, other recipes are imitations, a stop-gap measure. Carbonara pasta is one of the most famous Roman recipe. It needs only 4 ingredients, including spaghetti, and it’s extremely easy. The high quality of ingredients is a necessary condition for the success of this recipe.

Authentic Italian carbonara spaghetti
Authentic Italian carbonara spaghetti

Despite many beliefs, the ingredients of the traditional recipe are only 5: guanciale, pecorino Romano, eggs, pepper and spaghetti. To make the best authentic Italian carbonara spaghetti, you don’t need any other ingredients, so if ever someone told you to use other ingredients like garlic, parsley, onion, cream, milk, parmigiano, pancetta, bacon, do not trust them! It will be a fake carbonara. Of course, it will not be bad, but it can’t be as good as the recipe I propose to you.

Choose your spaghetti for an authentic Italian carbonara pasta
Choose your spaghetti for an authentic Italian carbonara pasta

The Club della carbonara, founded in 1998, proposes in 2012 a single recipe to close the issue of the different versions distributed throughout the country. The recipe is intended to be democratic, letting everyone adapt it to their needs while respecting tradition. It is allowed to choose between pancetta and guanciale, between pecorino and Parmesan (or a mixture of both), between whole eggs or only the yolks. The preparation is then done as follows: the eggs are beaten in a bowl with some of the cheese and a pinch of pepper until a creamy mixture is obtained. The pasta, well drained, is added to the golden guanciale/pancetta in a pan. The whole is then mixed and served.

Ingredients for 2 people

Ingredients for an  authentic carbonara
Ingredients for an authentic carbonara: eggs, pecorino; guanciale; spaghetti

4 eggs (3 yolks and 1 full egg)

200 g of guanciale

200g of grated pecorino

250g of spaghetti : I like using Linguine spaghetti from Barilla. I just want to remind you that this brand is able to make non gluten pasta if you need to.

Pepper, but no salt, as all your ingredients are already salted.

Preparation

For starting in a large bowl, crack your eggs. You need to have 3 yolks and 1 full egg. Keep the white in order to make Meringue or Financier later. You could keep the Whites more than 2 weeks in a hermetic jar in the fridge.

Add the Pecorino grated cheese to the eggs and mix. It will give you a kind of pasta.

Pecorino and eggs, for carbonara
Pecorino and eggs, for carbonara

This recipe of authentic Italian carbonara spaghetti is extremely easy to realize, but I could say that the only difficulty you could have is to make sure that the eggs don’t cook so much to look like scrambled eggs or too little to be raw and cold.

Now in a pan fry the guanciale. I do not add oil as this meat is enough greasy to be cooked in its own oil.

In a very large pan, let’s boil the water. When it’s boiling, add very few of salt and the spaghetti. Never, oh, never break the spaghetti!!! Cook them the time it’s recommended on the packaging.

When they are ready, stain it, but keep 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.

Now in your largest pan put the guanciale, add the pasta and the cheese sauce: the one we made with pecorino and eggs, and finally add the pasta water.

The temperature is over medium, not more, as it’s very important to warm up but not to cook the eggs of the sauce. Combine well, and it’s ready to be eaten!

Wait that your water is boiling before adding your spaghetti.
Wait that your water is boiling before adding your spaghetti.

As a dessert for your meal, I advise you something quite light, as my cake without sugar or flour that you could serve with a good coffee.

Bon appétit !

Bon appétit!
Bon appétit!

About variation of the carbonara pasta :

Carbonara with Cream

Some people prefer to prepare carbonara with cream. They replace 1 egg with 1 DL (about 1/2 cup) of heavy cream. The result is creamier and so has a less pronounced egg flavor.

Well, from my point of view, you shouldn’t use whipping cream to make the dish creamier. It’s because that the fat from the guanciale, the cheese and the eggs are already quite creamy and heavy by nature. So adding the cream would only make the dish heavier and more cloying.

On the other hand, it’s true that if you’re making large quantities of pasta (say, for 10 people), a dash of heavy cream can help make the sauce more fluid. But it must remain a secret. And it’s a makeshift solution. Tricks in the kitchen, but only for desperate times!

Carbonara with Pancetta

Guanciale, which comes from the cheek of the pork, can be replaced with pancetta, which instead comes from the fatty part of the belly pork. Pancetta is drier and less fat. If you use pancetta (possibly not smoked), add a tablespoon of oil to fry it. 

Pasta Carbonara with Parmigiano

Even for what concerns the cheese, there are those who use Parmigiano cheese instead of Pecorino Romano or half Parmigiano cheese and half Pecorino Romano. In this case, the taste becomes less strong and flavorful (pecorino Romano is a very tasty cheese). Allowed.

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