Over time pasta carbonara has become one of the most controversial dishes out there. You would think with a simple preparation of pancetta, egg, parmesan, and black pepper it would not be a big deal. However not too long ago I read an article about Nigella Lawson posting her recipe for the dish on twitter, and people flipped out on her. All because she puts cream in her sauce. In all honesty despite any lack of authenticity cream might provide I tried her recipe and I enjoyed it.
But seeing that definitely sent the message that if I were going to write about carbonara I would have to do it right. The best and sometimes hardest to grasp thing about an authentic carbonara is the simplicity. So that means no cream, and for the love of all things good in this world please do not be like Olive Garden and add chicken and shrimp to your plate. That is just nasty. We want the egg, cheese, and pancetta to shine. Think of this dish as a wholesome breakfast experience, temper your eggs, and you will be in perfect shape. I promise.
For an authentic treat try making the dish with fresh pasta.
- 1/2 lb pasta
- 1/4 lb finely diced guanciale, pancetta, or bacon
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Whisk together the eggs, cheese, and black pepper with a fat pinch of salt. Boil your pasta, when draining reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water to use later. Meanwhile heat the oil over medium heat and saute the pork until crispy, 5-7 minutes. Add the pasta to the meat and toss to coat in the oil and grease from the meat.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pan and toss to evenly coat the pasta until the egg is silky and cooked through, forming a sauce. Season to taste and add some of the water you cooked the pasta in if the sauce becomes too thick.