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5 Tips For Making Authentic Italian Pasta alla Carbonara

Traditional Italian pasta alla carbonara is a great dish however getting it right is a delicate affair. In this article we examine some expert tips that will not only make the task easier but ensure that you achieve optimum results every time.

By Cookist

There are a variety of variations on the carbonara recipe however if you want to make the real one there are a few things you can do and some guidelines to follow. Keep reading to discover them.

Keep things basic to avoid some twists being seen as an “insult”

The secret to making a good carbonara has more to do with what you don’t use rather than what you put in it. Traditional carbonara should be served with spaghetti, tonnarelli, bucatini, spaghettini or fettuccine. However it goes well with any long-cut pasta too.

Don’t overcook or rinse the pasta


Usually, dried pasta manufacturers specify a cooking time, however we recommend that you test the pasta after 8 minutes and never cook it for longer than 10 minutes.

Fresh pasta will cook in a very short time. The starch in the water helps the sauce stick to your pasta. If you rinse the pasta after it is cooked, you wash off the starches needed to make the sauce stick to the noodles.

Add adequate salt

It is important you add enough salt to the dish while it is cooking or else it will not come together well. You may retain a glass on the cooking water as it will make the dish more creamy.

Be mindful of the eggs you use


Eggs at room temperature are the best to make this dish. Before you start cooking, remove your eggs from the fridge and make sure they are no longer cold before you use them because cold eggs can cause clumps.

When making your carbonara, the number of eggs (both whole and yolk only) is critical to a successful creamy texture. The egg yolks aid the binding of the fat from the pork to the sauce, creating a smooth, creamy texture. Enough egg whites can give the hot pasta the ideal texture and appearance, but too much will make it curdle.

Use high quality cheese

For this dish, it’s advised you use real, high-quality pecorino Romano cheese. Make sure it’s finely grated as this ensures it will melt quickly into the sauce when added to the spaghetti. This will help it blend in with the eggs rather than become clumpy.


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