Next to lasagna, one of the many Italian dishes I came to discover in my teenage years was Carbonara. However, since I’ve been living in Italy, it occurs to me that the Carbonara that is served all over the US that we’re used to picturing is not truly the way Carbonara has been traditionally made.
If you’re like most Americans you picture fettichini with a garlic cream sauce, bacon, and peas right? Yeah, it doesn’t actually have that kind of flavor at all. What I love most about Corrado’s carbonara is that it is simple, like all the Italian foods I’ve discovered while over here. Italian cooking really can be simple and delicious.
Corrado’s Carbonara (serves 3-4 people)
Please note: These pictures show a recipe for 2-3 people.
- 16 oz of pasta of your choice (usually made with fettuchini or spaghetti depending where you’re from in Italy but we just usually use whatever is around the house). Pick something that has lots of surface area to cover
- 5 eggs (the rule is generally one egg per person but we like eggs)
- 8 ounces of cubed pancetta (you can also use sliced pancetta for presentation purposes, but the flavor doesn’t really change)
- 3/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- 3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesean cheese (Normally, carbonara is made with only Pecorino cheese, but Corrado likes to balance the saltiness of Pecorino with the sweetness of Parmesean)
- 1-2 Tbsp of freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp of olive oil
1. Begin boiling water for the pasta.
2. Heat the olive oil in a cooking pan on the stove. Be sure to use a pan large enough to hold the pasta as well since you will be tossing it in later.
3. Start simmering the pancetta in the pan.
4. Beat the eggs in another bowl, add a tablespoon of the ground pepper and mix in. (Corrado says you can choose to have only the yolks, but the sauce comes out much thicker, or just the whites of the eggs, but then the sauce is very thin, so he likes to use both)
5. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it and immediately toss into the large cooking pan with the pancetta. Stir for about 1 minute. Turn off the stove, but leave the pan on the stove.
6. Immediately add the egg mixture of the pan and toss. The heat from the pasta and stove should cook the egg mixture. Keeping the stove on risks cooking the eggs too quickly, which makes it clumpy and thick.
7. Once the egg mixture is cooked and mixed in, add both cheeses (you can save some for garnish if you want), the rest of the black pepper and toss again.