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Perfect carbonara pasta? The secrets (and the video) to make it super creamy

pasta carbonara

The original carbonara pasta recipe is a real institution of traditional Italian cuisine. Here are all the secrets to prepare it flawlessly!

It is one of the most loved, discussed, interpreted and cooked first courses by Italians: we are talking about pasta alla carbonara, a classic of Roman cuisine that combines strong flavors with crunchy and creamy textures. This first dish knows many variations, and not only as regards the various interpretations, but also for the traditional recipe. But, in reality, it would seem not to exist … In fact, there are those who use bacon, some bacon, those who use onion, those who instead claim that long pasta should be used, those who still use egg white and those who only use red.

But how is carbonara prepared? Although there are different schools of thought, however, there is no real recipe, and this is because the exact origin of the dish is not known. What if the Americans had really invented it, making pasta with scrambled egg and bacon? Maybe it's better not to think about it! However, over the years the techniques have improved and today we have arrived at what can be considered the perfect carbonara!

pasta carbonara
pasta carbonara

How to make spaghetti carbonara: the original recipe

You want to discover all the secrets to make a fantastic, creamy and workmanlike one, follow us in the kitchen: here is the recipe for spaghetti carbonara!

Carbonara ingredients

Let's start with the identikit of this first dish: first of all, the ingredients of the carbonara must absolutely be of quality. Get yourself:

ingredients of carbonara pasta
ingredients of carbonara pasta
  • 1 piece of medium-aged and still soft pecorino romano (90 g will be enough for 4 people)
  • quality piece of bacon (you will need to obtain 200 g of cubes)
  • 5 eggs (there will be 4 yolks and a whole egg)
  • about 95 grams of pasta per person (for a total of 380 g)
  • 30 g of grated cheese
  • black pepper and salt to taste

And above all, rule number one: forget about canned bacon … and cream ! However, if this preparation intrigues you, we refer you to our carbonara with cream .

Preparation of the carbonara

Now that we've got the basics down, let's get started with the preparation!

cook spaghetti
cook spaghetti

1. Boil a pot of water, and when it is at temperature, add the spaghetti. Already for this phase, we bring you the first secret for a perfect carbonara: salt the water a little! The pecorino and the bacon, in fact, will help to give the right flavor to the dish.

prepare the bacon
prepare the bacon

2. While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon into cubes or strips after removing the rind. A tip: instead of throwing it away, put a piece of it in the cooking water together with the pasta. Heat a non-stick pan and sauté the bacon without adding any other fat. The secret in this phase is the cutting of the meat: don't make it too thin, but thick enough to make it crunchy on the outside but not dry inside! Turn off once it has become crunchy.

3. In the meantime, let's take care of the sauce. One of the rules for the doses is to put one yolk each (only the yolk, please!) And one whole egg. With this dosage the pasta will be nice creamy, but if you want to lighten it, you can also reduce the quantity of eggs.

Beat the eggs with the cheese
Beat the eggs with the cheese

4. Beat with a fork and add the pecorino and grated cheese, mixing everything well until the consistency is nice creamy, even a paste. Don't worry, the cooking water will take care of making it liquid. Finish with plenty of pepper, preferably freshly ground.

Add the spaghetti to the bacon
Add the spaghetti to the bacon

5. We have finally reached the last steps. Skip the pasta in the fat released from the bacon, adding a little cooking water to facilitate the release of the starches. Remember to keep a ladle of cooking water aside, which if you need it later will help the sauce to be nice and creamy .
6. Add the cream of egg and pecorino cheese to the pasta with the bacon, performing this operation off the heat and after waiting a minute, and once the sauce has been added, add the cooking water and stir by blowing or stirring quickly with a spoonful of wood: in this way the egg will not cook, and will not give life to the classic omelette effect . Finish the dish with a sprinkling of cheese and a sprinkle of pepper. The carbonara is finally ready. Enjoy your meal !

Here is our video recipe of carbonara pasta :

What to do with those leftover egg whites ? Don't worry: nothing will be wasted if you take a look at our recipes with egg whites !

What we have just seen is the original carbonara recipe, would you like to see some variations? Those who love fish can try thecarbonara di mare , those who do not love meat, on the other hand, will be very happy with our vegetarian carbonara ; finally, if you are looking for a variant with vegetables , here is the zucchini carbonara .

Primo Chef's secrets for a creamy and perfect carbonara

Pasta carbonara
Pasta carbonara

The type of pasta : rigatoni, spaghetti, tonnarelli, bucatini alla carbonara… which pasta format to choose? The rule is… there are no rules! There are those who prefer a long pasta , others the short one: the important thing is that you like it, that the pasta is beautiful al dente and above all of quality .

The bacon : as we anticipated, the cooking of the bacon is crucial . It is preferred to pancetta for its more complex and fatty flavor, and is usually cut into strips. If you keep a cut thick enough, you can make it sweat well by depriving it of fat , make it crunchy on the outside but keep it moist inside: in this way it will be a pleasure for the palate!

How to manage pork fat? Here are three schools of thought. Those who want to lighten the recipe throw it away, but for some traditionalists this is a sacrilege! The fat, in fact, is used to create flavor and to skip the pasta before adding it to the egg and making it already tasty . The third variant? Deglaze with a finger of white wine and only then skip the pasta.

The carbonara sauce : here too you will surely have heard that those who use white are mistaken, but in reality this is not the case. Everyone has their own (for example, there are those who put one yolk per person plus a whole egg and who, on the contrary, put one egg per person plus one yolk). In general, remember that the egg must not cook, but neither must it be raw, so the best idea is then to season the pasta with the heat off in a pan. An alternative is to pasteurize the eggs for a few minutes by placing them in a bowl in contact with the steam of the cooking water, and turning slowly.
However, there is another possible variant: prepare carbonara with the Thermomix ; before turning up your nose, give her a chance !

And if you liked it, here are all the secrets for cooking apasta alla gricia to perfection and for an impeccable cacio e pepe ; we also leave you all our recipes with eggs for always delicious dishes!

To conclude, a little history : do you know the origin of carbonara ?


We advise you to consume it immediately but if you have any leftover you can keep it in the fridge in a container for a day. The egg, however, will congeal so we advise you to turn it into a pasta omelette . Freezing is not recommended.

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