WHAT IS SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA?
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of those pasta dishes most people only treat themselves to at the Italian restaurant. This simple but sophisticated spaghetti recipe is a delight to make. Pecorino Romano cheese gives this dish a sharp bite and beaten eggs provide the velvety finish. This dish only seems complicated but it’s actually so crazily easy it will become part of your regular weeknight dinner rotation. Best of all it’s fast. Follow these tips to always get it right.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA
- Choose your bacon well
For our money guanciale is both the most traditional and most delish choice for the crispy pork bits that make this dish spectacular. If you can’t find guanciale you can use pancetta or even regular bacon (turkey bacon works too.) Whatever your cured meat, cook in slowly so that the fat renders and the meat becomes crispy without burning.
- Say No To Oil!
We are fans of spaghetti that is cut using the Italian al bronzo method–which creates micro abrasions on the surface of the pasta so the sauce sticks. If you add oil to the cooking water you are completely defeating the purpose. Read more about that here.
Cooking pasta with too little water or in too shallow a pot is another mistake. You want your pasta to be fully submerged with room to expand so choose a pot specifically made for cooking pasta.
- Temper the eggs and cheese
It’s perfectly acceptable to simply add the cooked spaghetti directly to the egg and cheese mixture and mix quickly. Another method we like to use is a French technique to ensure a velvety sauce. Quickly add a few tablespoons of the hot pasta water to the the egg and cheese mixture while whisking vigorously. This will bring the eggs up to temperature too that they don’t “scramble” when the hot spaghetti is added.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA?
The simplicity of this dish lends itself to a wide assortment of wines. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or a Veltliner on the white side and a Chianti Classico if you’re in more of a red wine mood. For side dishes stay away from other starches and look towards lighter fare to complement this dish. (written by Chef Stef)