Dear adventurous souls of Walk About Italy and lovers of good food,
Today, let’s dive into one of the hottest topics in Italian cuisine: Pasta alla Carbonara! 🍝
Welcome to the newsletter that settles the spiciest gastronomic debates of our time: the recipe for Pasta alla Carbonara! We’ve decided to tackle the subject with the same finesse as a chef breaking eggs without dropping the shell into the bowl: pasta alla carbonara is made with GUANCIALE and absolutely not with pancetta, and onions are definitely not on the guest list.
Decades-long friendships have shattered, and great loves have ended in the epochal clash between the supporters of the original recipe and the rest of the world!
Let’s start with the hot topic of guanciale. Some might confuse guanciale with pancetta, but let’s be clear: they’re like cousins, but not the same! Guanciale is the rockstar of carbonara, the pork cut that makes this dish irresistible. Pancetta can go find its own path because in carbonara, guanciale reigns supreme!
Let’s be clear: NO ONIONS in Carbonara.
Friends, carbonara is a dance of simple and perfect flavors. Onions are like that guest who shows up at a party uninvited, ruining the harmony and joy for everyone. Carbonara only needs guanciale, eggs, pecorino (strictly Romano), pepper, and, of course, pasta. Onions can look for another culinary evening where they’re more appreciated!
Pasta alla carbonara is a masterpiece of simplicity and taste. Let’s agree on one thing: guanciale is the star, onions are an unwelcome intruder, and pancetta… well, it’s not guanciale! To allow you to continue cooking happily, laughing, and, above all, respecting the flavors and traditions of the Bel Paese, here’s the authentic recipe:
for 4 people (but it always depends on how hungry you are…)
• 400 g (14 OZ) of pasta (preferably spaghetti or rigatoni)
• 150 g (5 OZ) of guanciale
• 5 egg yolks
• 100 g (1 cup) of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Salt, to taste
• Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the guanciale into thin strips or cubes.
• In a non-stick pan, cook the guanciale over medium-high heat until crispy. Make sure not to burn it, but we want a nice crispiness. Once cooked, drain it on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess fat.
• In a bowl, beat the eggs with the grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything well until you get a creamy consistency.
• Cook the pasta in the salted water (FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE PACKAGE!!!) to achieve an al dente texture. Drain the pasta, but remember to save some cooking water.
• Transfer the pasta to the pan with the crispy guanciale, mixing well to let it absorb the flavors. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly pour the prepared sauce over it, stirring rapidly so that the eggs blend with the pasta. Add a bit of cooking water, if necessary, to achieve a creamy consistency.
Remember: Serve immediately, garnishing with additional Pecorino and black pepper to taste.
The Walk About Italy Team 🍽️