Carbonara outside of Italy is the bastard of globalisation. Internationally, chefs tend to add heavy cream, mushroom and butter to thicken the sauce. The creaminess of an original recipe comes from a raw egg cooked immediately after it’s mixed with the hot pasta. An abundance of Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano gives it an additional kick and “sheepy” smell. The pasta is finished with sizzling bacon and guanciale (pig’s cheek) mixed with water from cooking pasta to make it more”saucy” and glossy.
You can learn the original recipe from Chef Giuseppe who taught me how to prepare it. If you’re interested in attending his classes, make sure to book it here.
Carbonara by Giuseppe De Rosa
Creamy pasta Carbonara prepared for us by Giuseppe de Rosa on a sunny day in Rome.
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
400 g fresh tagliatelle (use store bought as an alternative) (recipe: www.thecuisinecollective.com/home-made-pasta)
100 g pecorino or parmeggiano cheese
50 g pancetta
50 g guanciale
¼ glass water reserved from cooking pasta
Fresh black pepper
“an abundance of olive oil” – Giuseppe’s quote
1 tsp salt
Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Once boiling, add one tsp of salt, tagliatelle and when the water comes back to the boil, cook at a constant simmer, covered, for 3-4 minutes for fresh pasta, 8-10 minutes for store-bought pasta or until al dente (just cooked). Strain the pasta keeping a 1/4 glass of water aside (you will use it later).
While the pasta is boiling, chop pancetta and guanciale. Preheat some olive oil in the frying pan, add the pork and fry for about 5 minutes or until golden crisp. Add the 1/4 glass of pasta water and mix vigorously.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, add grated cheese and season with a pinch of freshly grated black pepper. Set everything aside. Quickly transfer the strained pasta into a bowl with eggs, mix using the tongs or a long form, lift up the tagliatelle, so it combines effortlessly with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn’t scramble, and everything is coated.
Finish with fried pork mixing well.
Serve immediately with the remaining cheese and a grating of black pepper on top. If the dish does get a little dry before serving, splash in some hot pasta water.
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