"Spaghetti alla carbonara's creamy sauce is simply a thin egg and cheese custard, spiked with pork and black pepper. Try to find pancetta or guanciale (pork cheek cured like pancetta) for a really authentic taste!" — Chef John
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guanciale, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
ground black pepper, or to taste
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
grated Pecorino Romano cheese
reserved pasta water
When I make carbonara, I always add about a cup of chopped yellow onion to the bacon as it fries. That combination is delicious. I also use chicken broth instead of pasta water, as it adds more flavor, and only add the cheese at the end, along with about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley.
I have never made this before and I think I made a big mistake by upping the servings to 8. There was waaay too much pasta to stir as instructed. Definately don't try to up the servings so much as I did! The people I made it for enjoyed it, but personally I wish I would have stuck with the actual recipe amt.
Surprisingly, I've never had spaghetti alla carbonara before. So, I don't have anything to compare this to. I know where I can buy pancetta at but it was too far away and I was feeling lazy. So, I used thick bacon. I, like chef John in the video, used whole wheat spaghetti. I enjoyed this simple dish even though I messed up a little and my cream curdled a bit. I didn't lower my heat as low as I should have and I didn't constantly stir. So, do as Chef John said!!! :o)
Very easy, simple ingredients, great to see the video also. I added a little diced onion with the bacon and seared cubed chicken tenderloins with the pasta; it tasted just like a nearby restaurant's carbonara. Wasn't too sure about adding the pasta water, but it was a great tip; made the sauce just the right consistency! Perfect amount for two people. Thanks for the recipe!
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is not difficult to make and requires just a few simple, but standard, required ingredients. It really does not vary much from one recipe to the next. This recipe is a fundamental, basic reference recipe. I find it a little easier to mix the (room temperature) egg and cheese in a bowl and then add the cooked pasta to that mixture (rather than the other way around). I stir in the cooked meat, be it guanciale, pancetta or bacon, at the end. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if the sauce seems a little dry – the dish should be creamy, but not swimming in sauce. I just returned from Italy, where I was lucky enough to enjoy this pasta dish with guanciale, which comes from the jowls of the pig. I admit it sounded unappealing when I first tried it years ago, but only because it was unfamiliar. It is the best and by comparison neither pancetta nor bacon measure up. Unfortunately, it is hard to find here in the states. In its absence I’ve used pancetta, as I did tonight, other times bacon, and I have to say that if I can’t have this with guanciale I prefer bacon over the pancetta. I found this recipe a little heavy on the cheese for my taste, so I backed off on it by about one-third. Nothing innovative about this recipe – but because this is a classic dish, it shouldn’t be.
I made some changes to it. added garlic to the bacon and a little bit of white wine. Little Cilantro on top. Came out great! Love this recipe!!!
I'm a cooking novice so I was intimidated at first. However, the video and instructions help more than you'll know. I was nervous about the sauce and about the whole prep, but it was really easy to make and beautiful to look at. I served it with some steamed broccoli and it was a hit. The only thing I did different was that I used thick-cut bacon since I'm on a college budget, but I thought it turned out really well. Apparently so did my family.
Okay...this is very easy. I add alter mine, as reviewing other comments, added a medium onion diced and 3-4 minced garlic gloves, and used non-smoked bacon. I did just used freshly grated parmigian cheese. I also doubled the recipe, I would not in the future double the water... It turned out creamy and yummy... please note... do NOT skimp on the ground black pepper... the result is fantastic as is!!! I can see using leftover chicken instead of the bacon, or even left over steak... I will definitely be making this again!!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chef John's Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Serving Size: 1/2 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 273
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