Everyone knows the recipe for spaghetti carbonara. It is a fast Italian classic that is often incorrectly prepared. Many Italians cry when they see some weird recipes. Especially those that contain cream. Yes, every man to his taste. However, try the traditional recipe for spaghetti carbonara and I believe that you will not return to the version with cream!
Carbonara is of Roman origin and is one of the four classic Roman pastas. In addition to pasta, the carbonara recipe contains only cheese, bacon, black pepper and eggs. I don’t count salt as a necessary ingredient, because we automatically salt the water, in which we cook our spaghetti.
Remember, always salt the water and don’t skimp on the salt! It is said that water should be as salty as the ocean. In this case, however, you can use a little less salt as the bacon and cheese are also quite salty.
Which cheese for carbonara?
Like other Roman pastas, the spaghetti carbonara recipe must contain Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Both fantastic kinds of cheese can be found in supermarkets.
Parmesan is certainly more common, which is often imitated by similar, lower quality cheeses (which are of course cheaper as well). Yes, the original Parmesan – Parmigiano Reggiano – is not the cheapest cheese. However, if we cook with only a few ingredients, its excellent and unique taste in carbonara sauce will stand out significantly.
Also, buy only the block of Parmesan, not the pre-grated in the package. The whole piece of Parmesan is definitely of better quality and has a better and more pronounced taste.
It is always a good idea to store Parmesan cheese in the fridge, which you can always enjoy with all types of pasta, risotto, or other tasty dishes. That’s why buying a block of Parmesan is definitely worth it.
Guanciale vs Pancetta
As with the spaghetti alla Gricia recipe, you can choose between Italian bacon pancetta or guanciale. If you want to enjoy original spaghetti carbonara, try guanciale (pork meat which comes from the cheek of the pig). But Guanciale is certainly less available than pancetta.
Spaghetti carbonara is a very simple recipe. Like other pasta dishes, the whole cooking will not take you more than 20 minutes. Don’t forget to skip the cream though!
Tips for the best spaghetti carbonara
- Pay attention to quality ingredients, as there are only a few of them in this recipe
- You can use whole eggs or egg yolks. I add one whole egg and two yolks for two servings
- Mix eggs with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Turn off the heat before adding the mixture to the pan. The temperature must be low so that the egg mixture does not turn into scrambled eggs.
- And one last thing. Never add oil to pasta water.