The first Carbonara seems to have been made in Rome in 1944. The most reliable story tells the meeting between the ingredients available to American soldiers and the imagination of a Roman cook. The result was the prototype of Spaghetti alla Carbonara: eggs, bacon (later turned into guanciale) and cheese.
As the time passed the recipe has evolved to what we all know today. In trattorias as well as in the starred restaurants of the Capital, throughout Italy and abroad, in countless versions.
The Carbonara dressing is prepared in a matter of minutes. Just think that you need only spicy cheek lard cut into strips, a golden cream made with egg yolks and lots of grated Pecorino at the moment. In its simplicity and richness of raw materials. The recipe of Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of the cornerstones of genuine Italian cuisine.
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To prepare spaghetti carbonara start by putting a pot with salted water on the heat to cook pasta. In the meantime, remove the rind from the bacon and cut it first into slices and then into strips of about 1cm thick. Pour the pieces into a non-stick pan and sauté for about 15 minutes over medium heat, be careful not to burn it otherwise it will give off a too strong aroma.
Then, dip the spaghetti in boiling water and cook for the time indicated on the package. Make sure that you have everything else ready by the time spaghetti are cooked. Meanwhile, pour the egg yolks in a bowl, add the whole egg and also the majority of the pecorino provided in the recipe the remaining part will serve to garnish the pasta.
Season with black pepper, mix everything with a hand whisk. Add a tablespoon of cooking water to dilute the mixture and mix.
Meanwhile, the bacon will come to cooking, turn off the heat and keep it aside. Drain the pasta al dente directly into the pan with the bacon and sauté briefly to flavor it. Pour the mixture of eggs and pecorino into the pan, mix it quickly.
Serve immediately the spaghetti carbonara flavoring with the left-over pecorino and the ground black pepper.
To make your carbonara even more creamy you can add a little bit of cooking water, so you will not need to add cream (the original receipe doesn’t have it!). Also it is better to immediately eat it: it must be hot.
As an alternative to spaghetti you can also use rigatoni or mezze penne rigate and if you cannot find cheek lard you may use bacon or stretched pancetta, but in these cases add some oil in the pan.
If you cannot find Pecorino cheese you may substitute it with some grated Parmesan. Or if you like a sweeter taste you can mix the two cheeses.