Here's my no fluff guide to making my upgraded version of a carbonara.
Carbonara originated from Rome, Italy dating all the way back to the 20th century. The dish comprises of eggs, hard cheese (usually Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), cured pork (guanciale, pancetta or bacon lardons), and dried pasta (commonly fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini).
Why not fresh egg pasta?
Carbonara is already an egg based dish. Adding additional egg based pasta to the recipe would end up making the overall dish quite heavy to eat.
Is it okay to freestyle it if I don't have all the traditional ingredients?
That's the joy of cooking! As long as you follow the carbonara formula of eggs + hard cheese + cured pork + dried pasta you'll end up with a delicious carbonara result.
- 1 large egg
- 4-5 large egg yolks
- 1 wedge of hard cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- Black Pepper
- 25-75ml of hot reserved pasta water
- 125g of Cured Pork (I used bacon lardons)
- 2 tbsp of Refined cooking olive oil
- Handful of dried pasta (I used spaghetti)
Confit Egg Yolk
- 1 egg yolk
- Refined cooking olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 2 skin-on cloves of garlic (cracked using pressure from your palm)
Confit Egg Yolk
First we'll start with the longest part of the dish.
Set your fan assisted oven to 65C.
Grab an oven safe dish or pan and add in your egg yolk, garlic cloves and enough olive oil to submerge everything.
Bake for 55 minutes and then spoon out egg yolks for plating later on.
Carbonara Sauce (Part 1)
In a large bowl add 1 egg, 4-5 egg yolks and beat till combined.
Grate in enough hard cheese until the sauce becomes thick and no longer watery. Add black pepper (more than you think is necessary).
Leave to one side.
Carbonara (part 1)
Set a pan of water over high heat, add salt, and once boiling add your pasta for the time listed on the packaging.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, set a pan over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of refined cooking olive oil, and 125g of cured pork.
Cook until the cured pork has started to brown on the edges but still retain the chew/bite.
Carbonara Sauce (part 2)
Take 25-75ml of your pasta cooking water and slowly pour it into your egg mixture while whisking vigorously. This will temper the egg mixture and stop it from scrambling in the hot pan.
Carbonara (part 2)
Using tongs, grab the al dente pasta from your pot of water and dump it into the pan with your cured pork. Mixing the pasta with the olive oil and rendered fat from the pork.
Add in your egg mixture and stir everything vigorously till combined. If the sauce is too thick then add pasta water to loosen it up. It should be thick enough to look creamy and still stick to the pasta.
Grab the plate of your choice (ideally something large and deep-plated).
Using a ladle and tongs, much like how you'd twirl pasta to eat it, twirl the pasta into the ladle, and then slide the pasta off into the dish (video for reference).
Grate hard cheese lightly over the top and then slide your confit egg yolk on top of the spaghetti. (optional: add a slight drip of truffle oil on top of the egg yolk to add an extra layer of depth to the dish.)
Serve to the delight of your friends and family.