Pasta Carbonara is one of the most famous Italian recipes. In Italy we say pasta alla carbonara, which translates pasta in the carbonara way. Carbonara sauce is made with guanciale (i.e. cured pork cheek) and eggs that wrap around hot pasta. It is important for the recipe to succeed that a soft cream is formed: it should be neither excessively liquid nor too dry.
Pasta carbonara recipe is quick to prepare and it is always appreciated. Let’s see a classic version of the recipe (preparation time is 30 minutes), nutritional values and some variations of the recipe.
PASTA CARBONARA INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PERSONS
Without claiming to have found the original pasta carbonara recipe, we can say that the classic recipe includes only 6 ingredients: pasta, pork cheek, pecorino, egg, salt, pepper.
Here is our own version of the recipe based on these ingredients.
- 320 g durum wheat Spaghetti
- 120 g cured pork cheek
- 3 egg yolks and one whole egg
- 100 g Pecorino Romano
- Pepper in grains to be ground to taste
- Salt to taste
- Cut the cured pork cheek into small but not too small pieces, so that browning they become crispy on the outside and remain soft inside.
- Set a pot of water on the stove, and bring water to the boil.
- When water boils, add a little coarse salt and toss the pasta.
- Put in a container the whole egg, the egg yolks, the Pecorino Romano cheese, the ground pepper and a little water. Mix well, stirring quickly so that the preparation becomes creamy.
- Keep in mind the pasta cooking time and the time needed to brown the cured pork cheek (usually about 7 minutes). When about 7 minutes are left for the pasta to be cooked al dente, put the pork cheek in a pan. Cook it until it becomes lightly browned and crunchy. Then, turn off the heat.
- Just before draining the pasta, set aside a couple of ladles of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.
- Place the Spaghetti in the pan and mix well, and move the pasta so that the temperature decreases.
- Add the preparation of egg yolks and Pecorino Romano and the cooking water set aside, and mix well again.
Here we are! Serve immediately to prevent the egg from hardening too much.
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THE ORIGIN OF PASTA CARBONARA
Carbonara pasta is a rather recent recipe; however, there are several hypotheses about its invention.
According to some, the origin of the Carbonara pasta dates back to the Second World War, when a cook used the rations of eggs and bacon of American soldiers, adding cheese and pepper.
Others believe that Carbonara pasta is the evolution of a dish from Lazio that only included cheese and eggs. It would have become Carbonara pasta when some US soldiers asked to add pork cheek that they confused with bacon.
SOME TIPS OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- The classic pasta format used for the carbonara pasta is spaghetti. You can also use other formats that have good consistency, such as rigatoni or even half paccheri.
- To make a creamy carbonara pasta:
- Whisk eggs carefully, so that the preparation is homogeneous.
- Dose water well so that the egg preparation is neither too thick nor too liquid
- After draining the pasta and putting it in the pan, wait 30 seconds before adding the carbonara sauce. In this way the temperature of the pasta will not be too high, and you will avoid that the eggs, when in contact with the pasta, coagulate.
- Serve immediately to prevent the egg from hardening too much.
- If you love Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, you can use one of these cheeses, or even more than one looking for a well-balanced flavour.
PASTA CARBONARA CALORIES AND NUTRITIONAL VALUES
A portion of carbonara pasta brings about 650 kcal.
It contains indicatively:
- Protein: 25 g
- Lipids: 33 g
- Carbohydrates: 59 g
It is a very tasty recipe, which, however, should be eaten only occasionally, especially due to the presence of a significant amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. The saturated fats derive above all from the guanciale, while the cholesterol is contained in the eggs, in the guanciale and in the Pecorino Romano cheese.
PASTA CARBONARA WITH CREAM AND OTHER RECIPE VARIATIONS
The Carbonara recipe is a tasty and simple dish to prepare.
There are different versions of the recipe, and it is probably impossible to say which is the original recipe, the first one made.
It is reasonable to assume that cured pork cheek is to be used, and not bacon; the cheese traditionally used is the Pecorino Romano. There are also different methods with the same ingredients.
Some use whole eggs, others mainly the yolk. Then there are those who add a little cream to increase the creaminess of the sauce.If you wish to use cream, combine it with the cheese and the eggs in the bowl (for 4 people use about 3 tablespoons).