The recipe for a typical dish of Italian gastronomy in its authentic version, easy to prepare and made with simple ingredients. Nevertheless, talking about carbonara pasta is dangerous, because it is one of the recipes around which I have heard and read more fights, and more violent ones, than any other. It sounds ridiculous, because it is composed of few ingredients, but the fact is that they do not agree on either the quantities, the type of pasta, or the method to be followed when coating the pasta with the sauce in order to cook a real carbonara, faithful to the original recipe. Rigatoni vs. spaghetti, guanciale vs. pancetta, pecorino vs. parmesan, whether it’s made with just the yolk, or half and half or whole eggs; whether the guanciale is added to the beaten egg or we sauté the pasta first with the guanciale and then the egg … Bufff … It’s madness! I wonder, however, if from what I’ve read and asked, there are different hypotheses about these secrets, who do I listen to? Why fight, if you can only justify your argument with gems like “because I’m Roman and in my house it’s done like this”. In any case, why don’t people just write, cook or recommend the carbonara pasta they like the most or the one I’ve eaten all my life, live and let live in peace?
I’ll write you the version I saw my partner’s aunt cooking, which is Roman. Therefore, we could say that something authentic has to be, because the lady is very old and has spent her life here. I admit that sometimes I do it in other ways. Since it’s easier to find a decent bacon, than a very good guanciale, sometimes I prepare it with smoked bacon and it is also very good.
I can forgive you, because I am not a Roman. Same with the cheese. If you make it with grana padano or parmesan, instead of pecorino, it’s good too. What I do not like is the American version, with cream. All Italians agree about that. Cream, no way. Anyway. Experiment, find the proportions that best suit your tastes. One day I made carbonara with green asparagus, instead of pork, sauteed with oil and a clove of garlic, and it came out great.
Carbonara pasta (pasta alla carbonara)
- 200 g Spaghetti
- 100 g Guanciale or pancetta.
- 3 Eggs
- Grated pecorino or parmesan
- Black pepper
- Put the pot with water for the pasta directly on the fire, because the rest is done in a jiffy.
- Fry the guanciale in a pan large enough to stir-fry the pasta.
- Beat two eggs and the yolk of the third one, add three spoonfuls of grated pecorino and a pinch of salt. If the texture is more like a dough than a sauce, add a spoonful of cooking water to make the pasta a little more liquid.
- Strain the pasta and sauté it with the contents of the pan.
- Turn off the heat and add the beaten egg to the pasta and stir. With the remaining heat in the frying pan the egg should have enough to thicken a little, smear the pasta, but without turning into little pieces of omelette. If the egg is too raw, put the paella on the fire for a few more seconds, but still not as thick as an omelette!
- Add pepper to taste, stir and serve.