Famous for its thick and creamy sauce, carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta dish. It is a favourite among pasta fans worldwide since it is typically cooked with eggs, pancetta or bacon, cheese, and black pepper. Despite the fact that this meal has many different versions, we offer you an simple carbonara recipe that is quick to make and close to its traditions.
What is Carbonara?
Carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta dish that originated in Rome. It is characterized by a rich and creamy sauce made with eggs, cheese, and cured pork. The basic ingredients of carbonara include pasta, eggs, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, pancetta or guanciale (Italian cured pork jowl), and black pepper.
To make carbonara, the pasta is typically cooked firm and slightly chewy and then tossed in a sauce made with beaten eggs, grated cheese, and black pepper. The heat from the pasta and the skillet cooks the eggs, creating a creamy coating that clings to the pasta. The cooked pancetta or guanciale is often added to provide a savory, salty flavor and a crispy texture.
|Prep time: 5 minutes||Cook time: 15 minutes|
|Rest time: none||Serving: 4|
|Difficulty: basic||Cuisine: Italian|
- 8 ounces (225 grams) of spaghetti or any pasta of your choice
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
- 4 ounces (115 grams) of pancetta or bacon, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Cook the pasta:
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Prepare the sauce:
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese until well combined. Set aside.
- Cook the pancetta (or bacon) and garlic:
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the diced pancetta or bacon to the skillet and cook until crispy and browned.
- Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for an additional minute, until fragrant.
- Combine the pasta and sauce:
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and garlic, while it’s still hot.
Quickly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta and toss everything together.
The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce. Make sure to toss the pasta continuously to avoid scrambling the eggs.
- Season and serve:
Season the carbonara with salt and black pepper to taste.
Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.
Serve immediately while the pasta is still hot and enjoy the creamy, flavorful goodness of homemade carbonara!
- For a vegetarian version, you can substitute pancetta or bacon with mushrooms or roasted vegetables.
- If you prefer a lighter sauce, you can use a combination of whole eggs and egg whites.
- Be sure to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
- Adjust the amount of black pepper according to your taste preferences.
How to store the leftovers?
Cool the leftovers: Allow the carbonara to cool down to room temperature before storing it. Leaving it at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours is recommended to prevent bacterial growth.
Divide into portions: If you have a large batch of carbonara, it’s a good idea to divide it into individual portions. This makes it easier to reheat only what you need and avoids repeated reheating, which can affect the texture of the dish.
Store in airtight containers: Transfer the carbonara portions to airtight containers. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well for storing leftovers. Make sure the containers are clean and dry before adding the carbonara.
Refrigerate promptly: Place the containers of carbonara in the refrigerator as soon as possible. It’s best to refrigerate them within 2 hours of cooking. Carbonara can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat properly: When you’re ready to enjoy the leftover carbonara, reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. If using the stovetop, heat it gently over low to medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure even heating. If using the microwave, heat it in short intervals, stirring in between, until heated through. It’s important not to overheat the carbonara to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Adjust consistency if needed: The leftover carbonara might thicken in the refrigerator. To adjust the consistency, you can add a small amount of pasta cooking water or cream while reheating, stirring well to combine. This will help loosen the sauce and bring back its creamy texture.