Who doesn’t love a good spaghetti Carbonara, I know I do! I have always had a keen interest in Italian cuisine. My first encounter with Carbonara was during my stay in London. Most of the Carbonara I ate at the so-called “Italian restaurants” were very creamy. This is mainly because they are literally drenched in cream. Although I appreciate a well made creamy pasta dish, I knew immediately there was something not truly Italian about Carbonara made with cream.
On further research, one was that my culinary chef professor was Italian. Another is that I now live in Italy, two years on-going. Hence, I have first-hand experience on how to make real Italian carbonara. Not to say you shouldn’t make Carbonara the way you like it. It’s always nice to respect and appreciate the classic method.
Ever since I tried Carbonara the Italian way, I feel like life itself (life of a foodie, that is) has more meaning. Before I proceed with this recipe, I would like to state a disclaimer.
This is my rendition of the classic Italian Carbonara with my own tweaks. Based on what I liked and disliked about previous Carbonara dishes I’ve tasted. I cannot say that this is exactly how Italians make carbonara. Moreover, I can proudly say I have some great (die-hard) Italians that gave this recipe a thumbs-up. Also, I am fully aware many Italians do not use garlic in cooking carbonara. Neither is olive oil is a necessity, but the final result of my recipe is pretty spot on! If I do say so myself.
- 300 g Spaghetti
- 4 Eggs
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 80 g Diced Pancetta (substitute: bacon)
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- grated Parmesan Cheese (As much as you like)
- Put a deep pot filled with water over high heat, let the water start to boil, then toss in some salt and add the spaghetti.
- Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for 8 minutes or until ‘al dente’. Remove from heat, pour into a strainer and drain out the hot water, then, rinse out with cold water. Set the spaghetti aside.
- Break the eggs into a deep bowl, add some black pepper and salt. Also add as much grated Parmesan cheese as you like (I recommend at least a heap of a tablespoon). whisk all together and set aside.
- Bring the same pot back unto medium heat, toss in some olive oil and garlic. Slightly tilt the pot to the side to immerse the garlic in the oil. Fry until golden brown to infuse the flavour of the garlic into the oil, then discard the garlic.
- Toss into the pot of hot oil the chopped Pancetta, toss around and fry until golden brown.
- Now take the spaghetti you had set aside and add it to the pot and mix in with the oil and Pancetta.
- Now remove the pot completely from the heat (or turn heat off), with a spoon or pasta ladle in one hand, use the other hand to pour in the eggs and stir. Do not let the eggs settle, stir immediately so they don’t scramble.
- You should now have a glistening and creamy pot of Italian Carbonara. Serve whilst still warm.