Restaurant-worthy carbonara is easier to make at home than you think. A little patience and a handful of ingredients are all you need to make rich and creamy carbonara. There are innumerable versions of this dish (as well as opinions about what can or cannot be added), but this classic recipe sticks to just the essentials: pasta, eggs, Pecorino Romano, guanciale (cured pork jowl), black pepper, and a little salt. Here’s how you can pull it off in just 30 minutes.
Carbonara is one of several classic Roman pasta dishes that calls for minimal but overlapping ingredients, including Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and cured pork. Unlike pasta alla gricia, amatriciana, or cacio e pepe, carbonara uses eggs to create a rich, silky pasta that’s as perfect at midnight as it is at noon.
Because this recipe has only a few ingredients, each one is critical.
One of the biggest fears in tackling this recipe at home is that you will end up with a jumble of scrambled eggs and noodles. There is no need to let that fear take over. To set yourself up for success, start by tempering the eggs with some hot guanciale drippings and pasta water. When the spaghetti is ready, slowly start pouring the egg mixture into the skillet, pouring into the center over the pasta and not around the edges. Applying a little bit of low heat after the eggs are added, along with vigorous tossing, takes you to creamy carbonara perfection in just a few minutes.
Carbonara is best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the skillet. If you’re cooking for a smaller group, this recipe halves very easily. The cooking times will all be the same; just use a medium skillet (about 10 inches in size) instead of a large skillet.
3 Tips for Making Carbonara
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