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How to make pasta carbonara – Italian Cuisine



There pasta carbonara It is a very important recipe in the Italian culinary tradition. Together with tiramisu, is one of the dishes that have contributed to making our cuisine famous throughout the world. Unfortunately it is also a very "liberal" preparation, whose mysterious origins have given way to numerous variations (not always all conforming to good taste, especially if designed outside our borders). Find out how to make the perfect carbonara with the advice of Sale & Pepe!

What it takes to make carbonara

There traditional carbonara recipe provides the following ingredients: pasta, egg yolk, pecorino (and possibly Parmesan), guanciale and freshly ground pepper. It must also be said that, although the world is divided into orthodox and liberals of carbonara, there are infinite numbers of this dish variants, even vegan. The list that we provide to you follows the tradition, but you can change it paying attention but not to make unforgivable mistakes that we will talk about later.

It is often believed that carbonara is a dish to be consumed in a maximum of four people. Beyond, we risk the error: the bogeyman of the pasta omelette it would be around the corner. If you intend to prepare the carbonara pasta just for you, use these amounts: 70 grams of pasta, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of pecorino romano cheese, 30 grams of guanciale and freshly ground pepper.

As the number of diners increases, what varies is not just – rightly – the quantity of pasta, but above all the number of eggs. If for one person we will use 1 yolk, for two people we will use 3. For a carbonara for four people, the yolks will rise to 5. The trick is to consider 1 yolk each plus 1 yolk in addition to every four people.

Carbonara with bacon or bacon?

172765The dilemma between pillow is bacon born due to American influence in Italy in the immediate post-war period. At that time US soldiers used to ask the taverns for typical dishes prepared with ingredients from their food ration, including the bacon.

Some liked the lower fat intake of bacon. Those most faithful to tradition have rejected the contribution of stars and stripes. In fact, the original recipe calls for the use of the pillow, which is able to flavor the carbonara more with the release of fat, useful in the freezing phase.

Pecorino or Parmesan?

As we have seen on the origin of carbonara there are several vague theories. However, the area of ​​choice for the birth of this dish which has become famous throughout the world remains Central Italy, to be precise the area between Rome and Abruzzo. And there, when we talk about grated cheese on pasta, there is only one answer: the pecorino cheese.

Yet once again the custom attacks tradition and tells us a different story. In fact, according to some chefs like Luciano Monosilio, for a balanced and not too aggressive dish, it is good to mix 100 grams of parmesan with 50 grams of pecorino cheese. "Once only pecorino was used but I think that the Parmesan has a more taste refined and therefore more suitable for today's palates"Explains the chef. If you love strong flavors and don't know what to make of a more elegant dish, use only pecorino.

Which pasta is better to use

If you have decided to make carbonara, you will want to know which one pasta format lends itself better to this recipe. A great classic are the spaghetti. You can choose between the different sizes on the market, better if bronze drawn. You can also opt for spaghetti alla chitarra. A very valid alternative is i rigatoni, in whose furrows the egg cream is collected. But you can also wander between short sleeves and fusilli.

What often remains a taboo in this recipe is the fresh pasta but the important thing is not to dare too much, perhaps pushing on stuffed pasta or lasagna. In carbonara, tonnarelli can be a tasty alternative.

How and when to put the egg for a creamy carbonara

To obtain a creamy carbonara pasta you have to prepare a mix of egg yolks, pecorino cheese and pepper. Helping yourself with a whip, it creates a frothy and well-blended mixture. The egg-based mix should be added to the pasta sautéed in a pan with the bacon, to which you have added a generous sprinkling of cheese and pepper. However this operation must be done only to flame extinguished.

In fact, if we want the carbonara to remain creamy, the temperature of pasta should never go beyond 65 ° C. The reason? The egg proteins coagulate above 70 °, offering the unfortunate stracciatella effect. However the protein coagulation process is not immediate, e mixing the dough quickly, you can quickly lower the temperature from the initial 100 ° C.

Is it possible to pasteurize eggs for carbonara?

Egg pasteurization is a process used in the kitchen to break down the bacteria present in raw eggs, such as salmonella. To put this technique into practice, which takes its name from the French biologist Pasteur, we use a kitchen thermometer to measure the water temperature, which must not exceed i 121 ° C.

However in homemade carbonara, if you want to be sure of eliminating any risk, it is advisable to use pasteurized eggs purchased in the refrigerated counter. There are egg whites and pasteurized egg yolks, sold in comfortable, already separated, bricks.

Otherwise you can use a "summary pasteurization"with a little cooking water. The problem lies in the temperature and time needed to pasteurize the eggs. In fact, they could coagulate and become useless for your dish.

How and where carbonara is born

On the origins of bacon and egg the theories are numerous. It must be said, however, that the birth of this dish is inextricably linked to that of Grice and of tomato and bacon. There pasta alla gricia it was born thanks to the Apennine shepherds who, during the seasonal transhumance, were able to feed themselves with few ingredients capable of withstanding time without going rancid. In their saddlebags there were pecorino, lard and bacon. There pasta alla amatriciana it made its appearance in regional cookbooks only at the end of the eighteenth century, when it broke out in Italy tomato sauce. Amatriciana can therefore be seen as an enhancement of gricia.

Of the bacon and egg instead we don't talk about it until Second after war. A first hypothesis holds that among the seasonal migrants there were not only the shepherds of the gricia, but also i coalmen. In their saddlebags, in addition to pecorino and guanciale, they had eggs and pepper. They used to cook pasta in open field fires. But the mystery thickens. He does not speak of this recipe either Pellegrino Artusi, who wrote his own Science in the kitchen at the end of the nineteenth century, nor Ada Boni in his Roman cuisine. The first to speak of carbonara was in fact the Neapolitan nobleman Ippolito Cavalcanti, which in his book Theoretical and practical kitchen (1837): mentions the "pasta cace ‘e ova”, In which, however, the pillow does not appear.

A third theory has it that carbonara was invented thanks to American. In the Second World War soldiers in Italy asked restaurateurs to prepare dishes with the ingredients of their rations, ie dehydrated eggs (only yolk) and bacon (the famous and much-criminalized bacon). To this story is also added a pinch of black, that of the bag where a bit of everything was sold, including dehydrated eggs and bacon. Legend has it that these ingredients were mistaken by a black soldier to allow Italians to season spaghetti. Hence the name "alla carbonara".

According to Great encyclopedia of gastronomy of Marco Guarnaschelli Gotti, "when Rome was liberated, the food shortage was extreme, and one of the few resources was the military rations, distributed by the allied troops; of these were eggs (powder) and bacon (smoked bacon), which some unknown genius would have had the idea of ​​mixing seasoning the pasta".

Because it's called carbonara

It is called carbonara pasta, therefore, precisely because of two of its theories origins. The first one, the one that carbonari wants as a chef originating from this dish. The second, that according to which the ingredients of the carbonara were originally sold by a black soldier on the black bag.

Carbonara: the unforgivable mistakes

Preparing the perfect carbonara pasta is not impossible. You will simply need to avoid some blunders. According to theAcademy of Italian Cuisine the carbonara is the most "falsified" pasta in Italy, in which often ingredients are added to say the least questionable (such as cream).

Let's start with the first error. If you plan to prepare this dish and in front of the salami counter you are undecided whether to ask for bacon or bacon, you are about to make the first, unforgivable mistake. In the carbonara you put the pillow. Some tack on bacon because they are convinced of reducing the fat load, already very high due to eggs and cheese. But the truth is that this salami is likely to exacerbate the taste of the final result. The pillow should be browned without oil or butter, the excess fat must be drained, preserving only a small part to be used during the creaming phase or to beat the eggs.

The eggs they are at the origin of another error to be avoided. In the carbonara pasta only the yolks should be used, without resorting to egg whites. It is true that some very skilled chefs like Sarah Cicolini of Santopalato, Rome, balance 5 egg yolks with 60 grams of egg white in a recipe for four people. The error is therefore always relative to the result, which in cases like that of Santopalato's carbonara is sublime.

One of the errors generally committed with those who engage in the preparation of pasta alla carbonara is make additions at random. There are those who, when in doubt, make a fried base. There are those who push on garlic. Some people use cream for a creamier effect. There are those who fade the guangiale with wine. None of this is necessary.

Another element to keep under control is the spices: there are those who, in an attempt to aromatize (inappropriately) the carbonara, range in the field of spices. In this dish it takes only freshly ground pepper, added to the mixture of eggs and cheese. Stop. Anything chili pepper or nutmeg or, worse, turmeric.

For what concern cheese the question is: parmesan or pecorino? As we have seen, if you don't want to betray the origins and prefer to push on an aggressive taste, choose a good pecorino. If not, make a mix with Parmesan. But never, never use ricotta, stracchino or burrata.

A mistake that can easily be made with the carbonara is to be rigid on the pasta format to choose. Here it is possible to indulge in fantasy. Both classic spaghetti and vermicelli are good, but rigatoni and tortiglioni, even fusilli, are also perfect. Eye instead to the quality and the cooking pasta: making a mistake can ruin the entire final result.

Pour the egg over the pasta with the flame burning under the pan is one of the most terrible mistakes that can be made by preparing this dish. Once the spaghetti or half-sleeves have been drained, pour into the pan and sauté on a high heat with the pillow and its residual fat. Just once removed the pot from the heat, pour the egg on the pasta. Otherwise the effect is a spaghetti omelette, to which there is no way to remedy.


Carbonara: the differences with gricia and cacio e pepe

Daughters (hypothetically) of the same migratory tradition, the carbonara and the Grice they differ from each other by the presence of eggs. The second recipe is like a "white carbonara". Instead the recipe of the spaghetti cheese and pepper includes only three ingredients: pasta, cheese and pepper. The creamy sauce is obtained by mixing the pecorino with the cooking water. No eggs or pillow in this recipe.

What a wine to match

Pasta alla carbonara is a very structured dish. Eggs, bacon and cheese give off aromas and satisfy the craving for fat. According to the sommelier Nunzio Quatela, the wine is therefore called to hold up the structure of the dish with good softness, alcohol, concentration and fruit.

The classic combination is the one with a Red wine between Sangiovese, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo or a Rosso Conero DOC, "a fruity wine with good structure and persistence".

The most tantalizing pairing, in line with the origins of carbonara, is the Frascati Superiore DOCG: "a White wine with a good alcoholic, structured and aromatic content".

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Pasta alla gricia | Salt and pepper – Italian Cuisine


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With bucatini, spaghetti or rigatoni, la pasta alla gricia today it is one of the most loved dishes of the traditional Lazio cuisine, along with the most famous recipes of the amatriciana pasta, of the pasta with cheese and pepper and of pasta carbonara. There Salt & Pepper recipe it is the original one: a very tasty dish loved above all by those who appreciate strong and decisive flavors. A first quick to prepare and simple appearance, made only with very few ingredients but which hides pitfalls and requires a fair knowledge of tradition and basic kitchen techniques. The seasoning is in fact composed only of guanciale, pecorino romano and pepper, which must be well balanced in order to give the dish flavor but also creaminess.

The roots of the traditional pasta alla gricia they are intertwined with the history of the shepherds of Amatrice who, once upon a time, used it as a single meal, when the tomato was still unknown. For this reason it is considered the dish from which the amatriciana originated and that many, in fact, call theamatriciana in white. Today it is a perfect first course for a quick meal with family or friends or for those who don't have much time to devote to cooking but don't want to miss out on a good pasta dish!

You have the right ingredients for the house pasta alla gricia? Choose to prepare it with this one Salt & Pepper recipe, in just a few steps, yours pasta alla gricia will be able to conquer even the most traditional Lazio!

Preparation of pasta alla gricia

1) Prepare the ingredients. Grater the pecorino cheese, preferably using the grater with large holes. Reduce the pillow in strips of 2 cm wide, resting it on a cutting board and slicing it with the help of a kitchen knife.

2) Cook pasta and seasoning. Put the pillow in one cooking pan preferably iron or non-stick and fry over low heat, so that it becomes crisp. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

3) Complete and serve. Drain the pasta al dente, leaving it slightly moist and keeping 1-2 ladles of cooking water aside, and immediately transfer it to the pan with the pillow. Blow up quickly, dust with the pecorino cheese and add a few spoonfuls of pasta cooking water, if necessary. Dusts the gray pasta with a generous mince of pepper and serve immediately on the table.


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Recipe Cream of pasta and celeriac with artichokes and catalogna – Italian Cuisine


  • 400 g celery root
  • 350 g catalonia
  • 200 g short pasta
  • 2 pcs artichokes
  • dry white wine
  • thyme
  • pecorino cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

For the recipe of cream of pasta and celeriac with artichokes and catalogna, peel the celeriac and cut it
in small pieces. Cook it in plenty of boiling salted water with 200 g of pasta for 20 minutes.
Blend the pasta and the celeriac with 400 g of their cooking water.
FOR SEASONING: Clean the artichokes. Eliminate the thorns and the outer leaves; divide them in half, remove the barbina and cut them into wedges. Cook them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil for 4-5 minutes; blend with
a splash of white wine, let it evaporate for a couple of minutes and at the end season with salt and pepper. Clean the catalonia, cut it into pieces and blanch it in boiling salted water for 1 minute; drain and season with a little oil and a pinch of salt. Spread the cream on the plates, complete with the artichokes and the
catalogna, season with a little oil, grated pecorino cheese and a few thyme leaves and serve.