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CARBONARA

cook:

25 min

Picture for CARBONARA

10,884,716 views  Carbonara has been the subject of some severe bastardization here in the states, where we regularly eschew Italian tradition in favor of garlic, bacon, and green peas for some reason. Today we're doing both the old-school and illegitimate versions of the hotly-contested dish, both of which deserve their place in your grandmother's handwritten recipe cards.

4 Servings

US

original

metric

INGREDIENTS

For the traditional carbonara:

½ pound guanciale (can substitute with pancetta)

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

4 ounces of cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano)

Ground black pepper

Kosher salt

16 ounces spaghetti noodles

¼ cup starchy pasta water (optional)

For the modern carbonara

½ pound thick cut bacon

4 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

Ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic

⅓ cup starchy pasta water

16 ounces bucatini noodles

DIRECTIONS

1.

For the Traditional Carbonara

1.

Start by dicing guanciale or pancetta. Set aside.

½ pound guanciale (can substitute with pancetta)

2.

In a large bowl or measuring cup, combine whole eggs and egg yolk.

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

3.

Grate and measure out cheese - I recommend Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano or a blend of the two.

4 ounces of cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano)

4.

Combine grated cheese and eggs and beat together with a fork until homogenous.

5.

Season the egg and cheese mixture with fresh black pepper. Do not add salt yet, because the guanciale brings a lot of salt to the dish. Beat until well incorporated.

Ground black pepper

6.

Add the diced guanciale to a cold pan and then turn the heat to medium. This will allow the fat to render out slowly. Once it is fully cooked but not too crispy, turn off the heat.

7.

Add your noodles to a large pot of heavily salted water. Cook until they are to your desired texture.

16 ounces spaghetti noodles

8.

Add the cooked noodles to the pan with the guanciale. Toss to coat the noodles in the guanciale fat.

9.

Work quickly to add the egg and cheese mixture to the pan and mix rigorously. This will help to emulsify the sauce and make it creamy. If it’s as smooth as you’d like, you can add a little bit of pasta water. Season with salt if it needs it.

¼ cup starchy pasta water (optional)

Kosher salt

10.

Plate up and enjoy!

11.

For the Modern Carbonara

1.

Combine your eggs and egg yolk in a bowl.

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

2.

Next, add grated cheese. Stir with a fork to combine. Season with fresh black pepper.

4 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese

Ground black pepper

3.

Slice thick cut bacon into large chunks.

½ pound thick cut bacon

4.

Add the sliced bacon to a cold nonstick pan and then turn the heat to medium.

5.

Once the bacon is fully cooked and the fat has rendered out, strain out the grease, keeping only 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.

6.

Return the pan to medium low heat and add minced garlic. Saute for one minute and then turn off the heat.

2 cloves garlic

7.

Add bucatini noodles to a pot of heavily salted water and cook to desired done-ness.

16 ounces bucatini noodles

8.

Add the cooked noodles to the pan with the bacon along with some pasta water.

⅓ cup starchy pasta water

9.

Add the egg and cheese mixture to the pan. Toss rigorously and keep it moving.

10.

Taste for seasoning and assess for thickening. If it needs to be thicker, add more cheese (1 ounce at a time) and mix rigorously.

4 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese

11.

Serve and enjoy!

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