Pasta Carbonara offers a distinctive and effortless culinary experience, blending linguine or spaghetti with delightfully crispy bacon, all enveloped in a lusciously creamy Parmesan Carbonara Sauce. The inclusion of whole eggs is pivotal to this cherished recipe, which boasts simplicity in its preparation. This dish, akin to restaurant-quality, can be effortlessly crafted in your own kitchen with just a handful of straightforward tips. In approximately 30 minutes, you can whip up this easy Pasta Carbonara, ideal for a bustling weeknight meal. Featuring succulent crispy bacon and enveloped in the smoothest carbonara sauce, this dish stands out as a true culinary delight.
Pasta carbonara is a classic dish that everyone should have in their culinary repertoire. It’s an ideal choice for a hectic weekday meal, yet it’s also elegant enough for weekend dining or entertaining guests. Despite its minimal ingredient list, it’s a recipe where technique is key to avoid mishaps. Although I’m not a carbonara aficionado myself, I sought guidance from the experts at Cook’s Illustrated, renowned for their kitchen mastery.
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This recipe excels due to its unique method of boiling pasta in a minimal amount of water. This technique intensifies the pasta’s starch content, enhancing the sauce’s binding ability and ensuring a cohesive blend with the egg mixture. Additionally, a noteworthy tip involves initially simmering the bacon in water. This approach mitigates common issues like burning or uneven cooking in a skillet, and prevents the bacon from sticking. The water simmering technique ensures perfectly cooked bacon every time. Furthermore, the recipe achieves a sublime balance of eggs and yolks, using one yolk in this instance, to create a carbonara with a luxuriously rich, custard-like flavor and ideal consistency. While the original recipe calls for Romano cheese, I opted for Parmesan, readily available in my kitchen, to maintain the spirit of a simple weeknight meal. However, Romano cheese would be a delightful alternative, or even better, a combination of both, provided it’s freshly grated. Enjoy this delightful dish!
Carbonara is a delightful homemade pasta dish that’s sure to impress! Its creamy sauce is a combination of pancetta, garlic, pasta water, cheese, and eggs. In traditional carbonara, the egg-based sauce is gently cooked by mixing it with hot spaghetti and some of its cooking water. For a simpler version, bacon can be used in place of pancetta, as it’s more commonly available. This substitution aside, the recipe remains quite true to the authentic Italian carbonara.
Pasta Carbonara, a beloved dish from Rome, combines a savory mix of either thickly sliced pan-fried bacon, salt-cured pork, or pancetta, along with a few tablespoons of the rendered fat, and a hint of minced garlic. This is followed by a creamy blend of eggs, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and a touch of the pasta’s cooking water. The mixture is swiftly tossed with the pasta while it’s still piping hot, resulting in a luxuriously creamy sauce.
Consuming Raw Eggs in Carbonara: Is it Risk-Free?
It’s advised not to serve partially cooked eggs, as found in Carbonara, to vulnerable groups like the elderly and children. Eggs should be cooked to a safe temperature of 160 degrees to ensure safety. However, in Pasta Carbonara, reaching this temperature can lead to scrambled eggs rather than the desired sauce consistency.
Alternatives to Traditional Cheese in Carbonara Sauce
Certainly, substituting different hard Italian cheeses can be delightful in this sauce. Using Romano cheese can offer a scrumptious flavor, and experimenting with a mixture of cheeses could yield tasty results.
Reheating Pasta Carbonara: Advisable or Not?
Pasta Carbonara doesn’t fare well upon reheating. Its signature creamy sauce tends to thicken and lose its smoothness once refrigerated. Nevertheless, while the texture may change, leftovers can still be enjoyable to eat.
COOKING GUIDELINES FOR PASTA CARBONARA
– Ensure your eggs are at room temperature before use and opt for large-sized eggs.
– Timing is crucial for a perfect pasta carbonara. The pasta must be freshly cooked and hot when mixing in the egg blend. Keep your pasta water warm, and have all necessary items like tongs, pasta water, chopped parsley, egg mixture, and pre-cooked bacon ready at your cooking station.
– Suitable meat options for this dish include thick-cut bacon, pancetta, pork jowl, or guanciale.
– Traditional pasta choices for carbonara include spaghetti, fettucine, linguine, bucatini, and rigatoni.
– Remember to save 1-2 cups of pasta water for adjusting sauce consistency. Place a large bowl under the colander to catch this water as you drain the pasta, ensuring you don’t forget.
– Turn off the heat before adding the egg mix to the skillet. This prevents the eggs from scrambling.
– Store leftover pasta water in a sealed mason jar for 2-3 days. It can be used for reheating leftovers.
– For the best flavor and melting quality, use freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) or Pecorino Romano, avoiding pre-packaged canister varieties.
– Garnish the final dish with finely chopped parsley and extra freshly grated Parmesan cheese for enhanced flavor.
– Serve the dish immediately after preparation for optimal taste.
– Keep any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and tossing to warm evenly.
Reheating Pasta Carbonara Instructions
Start by taking the carbonara out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for approximately 30-40 minutes. Next, warm up a skillet on low heat and add the pasta carbonara. Stir the pasta gently, adding 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water that was set aside earlier, if needed. This will help in evenly warming up the pasta. For optimal taste, it’s recommended to serve the pasta immediately after reheating.
Is Raw Egg Used in Pasta Carbonara?
Indeed, pasta carbonara traditionally includes raw eggs. These eggs are effectively cooked by the heat of the pasta itself, the warmth of the pasta water, and the gentle heat from the stovetop. Nevertheless, for those who are at an increased risk of food-borne illnesses, such as young children, elderly individuals, and pregnant women, it’s advisable to use pasteurized eggs in the recipe. Pasteurized eggs undergo a process where they are heated to a temperature sufficient to eliminate harmful bacteria without actually cooking the egg, making them safe for consumption in raw form. Most supermarkets stock pasteurized eggs for this purpose.
Tips to Make the Perfect Pasta Carbonara
Opt for freshly grated Parmesan cheese instead of pre-grated varieties from a shaker. This enhances the dish with a more authentic and richer flavor due to better melting.
Promptly mix in very hot pasta water into the egg mixture for cooking. If necessary, reheat the water in the microwave to ensure it’s sufficiently hot.
Serve Pasta Carbonara right after preparation for the best taste experience.
- 16 ounces linguine or spaghetti
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- 12 ounces thick-cut bacon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet and discard the rest.
- Reduce heat to low and add minced garlic to the skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1-2 cups of the pasta water before draining.
- Quickly add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat with bacon fat and garlic. Beat the egg mixture again briefly. Turn off the heat and gradually pour in the egg and Parmesan mixture, adding a splash of pasta water, while continuously tossing. Once the egg mixture is fully incorporated, adjust the consistency with more pasta water as needed. Return the bacon to the skillet and toss.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh Italian parsley and additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.