Spaghetti Carbonara: Classic Italian dish with a creamy twist

Spaghetti carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish that is creamy, rich and delicious. It is made with just four main ingredients: egg yolks, black pepper, pecorino romano cheese and guanciale (marinated pork chops). The dish is usually served with hot pasta and the sauce is made by mixing raw eggs with grated cheese, black pepper and a little pasta water. The result is a creamy, silky sauce that coats the pasta perfectly.

The dish originated in Rome, Italy, and has since become popular worldwide. There are many variations of the dish, with some recipes using pancetta instead of guanciale or adding cream to make it more decadent. However, the authentic version is made without cream and is just as delicious.

How to prepare it?

Spaghetti carbonara is a classic Italian dish that is easy to prepare and delicious. Here are the steps to prepare it:

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, in a frying pan, fry some diced pancetta or bacon until crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set it aside.

3. In a bowl, mix together some eggs, grated pecorino romano cheese, and black pepper.

4. When the spaghetti is ready, drain it and add it to the pan with the pancetta. Toss the spaghetti and pancetta until well combined.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture. Stir the spaghetti and egg mixture together until the eggs are cooked, and the spaghetti is coated in the creamy sauce.

6. Serve the spaghetti carbonara immediately, garnished with more grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Note: It is important to remove the pan from the heat before adding the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from scrambling.

What makes the dish creamy?

Spaghetti carbonara is known for its creamy texture, which is achieved without the use of cream. The creaminess comes from the combination of eggs, cheese and starchy pasta water.

When making spaghetti carbonara, eggs are usually mixed with grated cheese such as Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano. The hot pasta is then added to the egg-cheese mixture with the starchy pasta water. The heat from the pasta cooks the eggs and creates a creamy sauce that coats the pasta.

The starchy pasta water is an important ingredient in the dish, as it helps emulsify the sauce and makes it smooth. It also adds a delicious flavour to the dish.

It is important to note that the eggs in spaghetti carbonara are not fully cooked, which may be a concern for some. However, if the dish is cooked properly, the eggs should be heated to a safe temperature and pose no risk to health.

What is guanciale?

Guanciale is a type of cured meat made from pork cheeks. It is an important ingredient in the classic Italian dish, spaghetti carbonara. Guanciale is similar to bacon but has a richer, meatier flavour. Often used as a substitute for pancetta in recipes.

To make guanciale, the pork leg is rubbed with a mixture of salt, sugar and spices. It is then marinated for several weeks, giving it a complex flavour and texture. After curing, the guanciale can be thinly sliced and eaten as a snack or used in various recipes.

Which is the best pasta to use?

When making spaghetti carbonara, the type of pasta used can make a big difference. The traditional choice for spaghetti carbonara is, unsurprisingly, spaghetti. However, other pasta shapes can also be used. Here are some options to consider:

  • Spaghetti: As mentioned, spaghetti is the traditional choice for spaghetti carbonara. Spaghetti is the traditional choice for spaghetti with spaghetti sauce.
  • Bucatini: Bucatini is a thicker, hollower, spaghetti-like pasta. It has a chewy texture and stands up well to a rich sauce.
  • Rigatoni: Rigatoni is a tubular pasta with grooves on the outside. Its shape allows it to hold the sauce well, and the ribs give a pleasant textural contrast.
  • Fettuccine: fettuccine is a wider, flatter pasta than spaghetti. It has a silky texture and contrasts nicely with the crispy bacon and creamy sauce.

Ultimately, the best pasta to use for spaghetti carbonara is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the traditional spaghetti, while others may enjoy the chewy texture of bucatini or the grooves of rigatoni. Experiment with different pasta shapes to find the one you like best.

Where is it from?

Spaghetti carbonara is a traditional Italian dish that originated in the Lazio region, more specifically in Rome. The dish is thought to have originated in the mid-20th century, in the post-World War II period, when American soldiers were stationed in Italy. 

Although there are several stories about the origin of spaghetti carbonara, the most popular is that it was created by Italian coal workers who, working in the forest, made a quick and filling meal out of eggs and bacon. The dish became popular with the locals and eventually spread throughout Italy and beyond.

Today, spaghetti carbonara is popular and widely eaten in italian restaurants around the world. Although there are many variations of the dish.

How do we store it?

To keep spaghetti carbonara fresh and edible, it is important to store it properly. Here are some storage tips:

  • Store leftover spaghetti carbonara in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Keep the leftover spaghetti carbonara in airtight containers and keep it in airtight containers.
  • Do not leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Do not freeze the spaghetti, as the consistency of the pasta and cream sauce may change.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your food stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.