One of the simplest dishes in Italian cuisine, and also the easiest to fuck up!… It is often used as a restaurant’s litmus test – if they can cook the Carbonara properly, the rest will most probably be worth a try as well, and the establishment may even be deserving of a repeat visit.
Surprisingly, A LOT of professional and amateur cooks manage to screw up the basic ingredients or add the unwarranted ones, and create a total nightmare of one of the best pasta dishes…
Public opinion has it that there are 2 recipes of Spaghetti Carbonara – one with cream, and one without. Do not (and I cannot stress it enough!), do NOT believe it. I love cream as much as the next person, but the only proper, decent and moral way of cooking Carbonara does not involve any fucking cream or milk at all.
I’ll share here the Carbonara that makes me, personally, happy, and that constitutes an ultimate comfort food for all seasons. If you don’t like it – it’s your fucking problem.
Here are the ingredients for 2 people. If you live alone, or your other half hates Carbonara – remember your primary school math lessons, and take the half of everything.
- ~110 gr of spaghetti. If you are really fucking hungry – use more.
- 3-4 slices of Pancetta (~60-70 gr). If you can’t be arsed – regular striped bacon of any brand you like would do.
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of the knife and left alone. Under NO circumstances are you to chop the garlic for Carbonara!
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 50-70 gr grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese. If you want to be really fucking fancy – grate it yourself. If you are can’t be bothered (like me), use the packaged stuff.
- A bit of parsley to garnish, if you so fucking please.
- Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions (this is what al professional cook books say, and I am just repeating the masters).
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, and mix the cheese into the eggs.
- When the spaghetti is cooked, strain the water, and leave them alone while you are doing the rest.
- Cut the Pancetta or bacon into thin strips of about 0.7cm. If they are thinner or thicker – don’t sweat it, nobody ever measures that anyways, for fuck’s sake!
- Heat the pan and add the Pancetta/bacon to it together with the crushed garlic. The Pancetta/bacon has enough fat on it, so you don’t need any fucking oil or butter – there will be enough carbs and fats in the resulting dish to keep you happy without.
- Fry them together until the Pancetta/bacon is nicely crispy and garlic is fragrant. Some people like their bacon nuked to oblivion – I prefer a milder and slightly more edible version. Naturally, I propagate this one.
- Throw the spaghetti into the pan with cooked Pancetta and garlic, and mix well for a minute or so, to make sure they are heated through. Low the heat, or even turn it off completely.
- Add the egg/cheese mixture to the pan, mix well, and immediately take off the heat, not to allow the egg to fry. If should cook off the heat of the spaghetti, and the result should not be gooey, but should not be fully fried either.
- Serve immediately, adding some more Parmesan/Grana Padano and chopped parsley on top for color.
As always, you are fucking welcome!