Spaghetti alla Carbonara
As the instigator of a Carbonara revolution, transforming the way this traditional dish is made around the world, I tried an endless number while in Rome. Given I have been cooking it for decades and not wanting to steer to far from the original I did my best to study how some of the best chefs in Rome made it. What a sacrifice!
Every year I attempt to make a carbonara that tops the last, but I think this 2023 spaghetti carbonara might just be my best one yet! It’s so creamy yet has a crunchy bite at the end. And I am going to teach you a great new cooking technique to get the perfect sauce.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tips
Use Different Types of Pasta
When it comes to carbonara, spaghetti is the classic pasta to use. Thick spaghetti, like bucatini, works perfectly for this recipe. My personal favorite is spaghettoni quadrato for any carbonara. However, so many different types of pasta will work for this dish, like rigatoni or even fresh pasta, so don’t be afraid to explore these too! The only pasta not really recommended to use is fresh pasta made with eggs because it will make it really heavy and hard to digest.
Pecorino to Pasta Ratio
If you’re increasing the recipe to feed more people, there’s an important cheese-to-pasta ratio to follow. For every 100 grams of pasta in this recipe, you must use at least 30 grams of grated pecorino romano. However, you can never go wrong with adding even more cheese than that, just never less!
Save the Egg Whites
With this recipe, you’ll be left with the egg whites from three eggs we won’t use in our cooking. But don’t waste food and throw them away! You can use them in other dishes! How about a perfect dessert for after you’re done with your carbonara dinner? You can save the egg whites to make amazing Amaretti cookies that will last in the freezer.
Cooking With Steam
I discovered an incredible cooking technique while traveling in Rome: to cook with steam heat! When you’re ready to add the cheese and egg cream to the pasta, place your pot of pasta water onto the stovetop. Then, place your pan right on top of the pot.
The steam from the pasta water will help heat the pan and melt the eggs and cheese into an incredibly creamy sauce. This method helps keep the pan off direct heat so we don’t cook the sauce too fast or threaten to burn it.
How to Serve Spaghetti alla Carbonara
When you plate your spaghetti alla carbonara, sprinkle even more pecorino cheese over top of it. Next, use a spoon to scoop up the leftover cheesy sauce and guanciale from the pan and add as much as you’d like to the pasta.
But we still need a crunch. Remember to save some your cooked guanciale for this very moment. Garnish the pasta with the crispy, crunchy guanciale to add even more texture to the dish. Finally, add freshly cracked pepper all around your pasta, and be generous with it!
Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe
- Aluminum pan
- large pot
- wooden spoon
- Small bowls
- Paper towels
- Cutting board
- 11 oz Thick round spaghetti 300g
- 7 oz Guanciale 200g
- 4 Eggs
- 3 oz Pecorino Romano 90g
- Black pepper as much as required
- ½ tablespoon Rock Salt
- Slice the guanciale into thin strips. In a large fry pan on medium-low heat, add the guanciale and cook until it's golden brown.
- Remove the guanciale and place it onto a plate covered with a paper towel to rest. Save the rendered guanciale fat in the pan to cook with later.
- In a large pot, boil water and add ½ tablespoon of rock salt. Then, add the spaghetti to the pot and cook for 13 minutes or follow your packet instructions.
- Separate 3 egg yolks and place the yolks in a small bowl. Then, crack a whole egg, with the egg whites included, into the bowl with the egg yolks. Beat the eggs together until combined and add freshly cracked black pepper and mix again.
- Gradually add pecorino romano cheese to the eggs. Mix and continue to add the pecorino until you have a nice thick cream.
- Put the pan back on medium-low heat with the guanciale oil. Using tongs, add the pasta to the pan and stir.
- Scoop up a mug full of pasta water and add some right away to the pasta then mix it through.
- Place your pot with the pasta water still inside on the stove and rest your pan on top of the pot. The steam will provide the heat to continue cooking the pasta.
- Add a touch more pasta water, a handful of your crunchy guanciale, and the pecorino romano and egg cream. Mix everything and add more pasta water to help thicken the sauce.
- Continue to add pasta water slowly until you can toss the pasta into the pan.
- Plate the carbonara and top with pecorino cheese and the leftover sauce from the pan. Garnish with the remaining guanciale you didn't add to the sauce and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Want to try other creamy recipes?
- I’m sure you have never tried a creamier and cheesier pasta than my 4 CHEESE PASTA
- Another creamy pasta you should try PASTA ALLA NORCINA
Join my private exclusive Italian Tours “Italy Unexplored Tour” and experience the Real Italy like you have never seen before.
The tour is exclusive to only 10 passionate foodies and it’s very unique. (Click here to get more details)
Tempted? Watch the video below and enjoy the sightseeing of the greenest region in Europe
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/vincenzosplate