Third Choose The Cheese
Last up are the cheeses. This is a Roman pasta dish, so, to me, it just won’t taste right without the salty tang of Pecorino Romano, an aged sheep’s-milk cheese. But Pecorino Romano alone has an assertive flavor, which is why I and many others like to cut it with the sweeter, fruitier flavor of Parmigiano-Reggiano. I use equal parts of each and whisk them into the eggs and yolks in a mixing bowl, along with plenty of coarsely ground black pepper.
Okay, now it’s time to actually cook the dish.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
Raos Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce
I find that many of the simpler craft tomato sauces lack salt and taste bland. Big-name brands, on the other hand, often contain too much salt and a bunch of unwanted additives. Raos, however, has a very short ingredient list and just the right balance of flavor and sweetness. Raos is just right and tastes just like something youd find on your grandmas stove. My go-to, post-workout, 15-minute dinner is pasta with chicken sausage, broccoli, and Raos Tomato Basil. Field Failing, CEO and founder of Fields Good Chicken in New York City
Classico Mushroom & Ripe Olives
I grew up loving the Mushroom & Ripe Olives pasta sauce from Classico. To this day, if Im making pasta at home and dont have the time to make my own sauce, it remains my go-to. Phillip Frankland Lee, founder and executive chef of Scratch Restaurants group
Buy: Classico Mushroom & Ripe Olives, $3.66 for 24 ounces
Also Check: How To Make Marsala Sauce
Best Vegan: Primal Kitchen No Dairy Alfredo Sauce
Courtesy of Walmart
Vegans rejoice. This Primal Kitchen sauce has no animal ingredients and boasts organic vegetables and herbs, plus avocado oil, making it paleo-friendly, certified organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, and plant-based. As if thats not enough, its also Whole 30-approved and has no added sugar. Each 1/2-cup serving contains 530 milligrams of sodium and 6 grams of sugar . Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, this sauce is a winner add it to pasta, pizza, or any other application that would benefit from a veggie-forward, high-quality marinara.
Finish The Sauce And Serve
At this point, you can remove the pot from the stovetop. The ambient heat will cook the sauce without scrambling the eggs. Add the pasta to the pot first, tossing it to combine it with the bacon grease.
Then, drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the mixture vigorously as you go. Add enough reserved pasta water until the sauce reaches the desired consistencytight enough to cling to the noodles but loose enough to create a palatable mouthfeel. Serve the pasta immediately, topping it with additional cheese if desired.
Dont stop with pasta carbonara: Try all our favorite Italian recipes! Or, learn to master marinara. We also have a complete guide to pasta sauce of all types!
Read Also: How To Make Stir Fry Sauce
How To Serve Carbonara Sauce
While you might want to eat your spaghetti carbonara right out of the pan and wipe it clean with some soft-in-the-middle and crusty-on-the-outside garlic bread, the best way to serve the spaghetti carbonara sauce is in a bowl topped with additional Parmesan cheese!
Carbonara sauce is a rich, silky sauce made with bacon, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper tossed with cooked pasta. Its the perfect weeknight meal when you need something delicious and fast.
- Laura Fuentes
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- ½ large onion, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
What Is Carbonara Really
Carbonara is one of Rome’s four classic pastas . There are a slew of theories about its possible origins, including:
- It was invented by Italian carbonari who prepared the dish on their shovels over a fire.
- The name refers to the ground black pepper in the dish that resembles flecks of coal .
- It was a marrying of traditions between American soldiers in Italy during World War II and their bacon and egg rations with the local pasta dishes.
What distinguishes carbonara from other pasta dishes is its technique of combining eggs, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper into a rich, silky sauce.
This recipe calls for raw eggs that are gently cooked by the hot sauce. If you prefer, you can use pasteurized eggs instead.
Also Check: How Do You Get Hot Sauce Stains Out Of Clothing
The Trick To Good Carbonara
The trick to making a successful carbonara?
Stirring the egg mixture quickly into the pasta which should be hot enough to “cook” the egg to make a sauce but not so hot as to make it curdle.
Getting carbonara just right can take some practice so don’t despair if your carbonara sauce is a little lumpy the first time you make it.
Some people add cream to their carbonara. It’s not traditional, but you can certainly do this, and make an even creamier sauce for the pasta. Personally, I think it’s rich enough without it. Enjoy!
Best Splurge: Truff Black Truffle Pomodoro Pasta Sauce
Courtesy of Amazon
If youre in the mood to seriously dress up your typical spaghetti and meatballs dinner, look no further than Truffs Black Truffle Pomodoro Sauce, which will infuse your meal with that decadent, rich truffle flavor we know and love to order at fancy restaurants. The sauce contains several truffle-containing ingredients to give it a complex truffle flavor, as well as the usual tomato sauce suspects, like tomato puree, onion, and herbs and spices.
A 1/2-cup serving contains 7 grams of sugar and 1030 milligrams of sodium. Keep this product in mind around the holiday season the sleek jar and steeper price tag will make it a great gift for foodie friends.
If youre looking for an all-around winning jarred sauce to have in your pantry at all times, we highly recommend stocking up on Rao’s Homemade Tomato Herb Pasta Sauce . If budget is not a concern to you, splurge on Truffs Black Truffle Pomodoro sauce , which will dress up any meal youre making at home and impress your family and friends.
Recommended Reading: Ball Canning Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
How To Make Spaghetti Carbonara
Attention to detail is important in this recipe since it has an incredibly short ingredient list. The flavour rests on the quality of those ingredients plus little finishing touches.
When making pasta, always salt your water before adding the noodles. Thats a crucial step as it allows the pasta to get flavoured all the way through. If you salt it your spaghetti later it will only be on the surface.
While thats happening, add pancetta or bacon to a pan with butter along with garlic. The garlic is a little trick for adding flavour as it infuses the pancetta with flavour.
I usually add one clove of garlic to the pan when I cook the pancetta, then remove it before the pasta goes in. This way the garlic adds to the delicate flavour of the carbonara sauce without overwhelming it.
When everything is ready, add the hot pasta directly to the pan with cooked pancetta, then add some pasta water. Because there is no added cream in this recipe, we need some extra liquid to create the sauce and carry the flavours that coat the pasta.
Pasta water is perfect for this role as it has absorbed some starch from the pasta which will help thicken the sauce as well.
Now the the trickiest step is adding the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta to create the famous carbonara sauce.
I personally find it works best if I add the beaten eggs while the pasta is taken of the burner. This way you get gentle heat that will cook the egg but not curdle it.
What Is Carbonara Sauce
Carbonarasauce is made with bacon, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. To thin itout, you use pasta water and it magically turns into a sauce as you toss itaround with the cooked pasta
While it might sound like a luxurious dinner, I assure you that its not complicated! I mean, bacon, eggs, and cheese? Simple and delicious, which is why its one meal my entire family will eat.
Also Check: How To Make Cheese Sauce For Mac And Cheese
Recipe Tricks And Tips
- I would highly recommend using pancetta and not bacon. If pancetta is not available, try to find meatier bacon.
- Remove the garlic from the pan before adding the cooked pasta to prevent it from overwhelming the carbonara sauce.
- Take the pan off the heat before adding the egg and cheese mixture. This helps prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese rather than store-bought pre-grated parmesan. Parmesan loses moisture and, with it, flavour if it has been pre-grated. Freshly grated parmesan will provide the best flavour and texture.
- Spaghetti carbonara pairs well with a simple green salad to balance out the creamy sauce. After all simplicity is what Italian cooking is all about!
Things To Remember When Making Authentic Carbonara Sauce
Recommended Reading: G Hughes Sugar Free Dipping Sauce
Best Alfredo: Stonewall Kitchen Basil Alfredo Sauce
Courtesy of Amazon
Stonewall Kitchen is well-known for its gourmet packaged foods like crackers, sauces, and mixes, so it comes as no surprise the brand would produce a stellar alfredo sauce. The decadent sauce contains Romano cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Parmesan cheeseplus light creamso it is the ultimate white sauce with which to toss your pasta or top your pizzas or proteins. Plus, the hint of basil adds a nice touch. A 1/4-cup serving contains 430 milligrams of sodium and 2 grams of sugar.
Perfect Carbonara Sauce Cooking Tips
Assimple as the ingredients are, carbonara sauce is all about technique! Butdont sweat it, just follow the recipe and these tips and your pasta carbonarawill be #perfection.
Start with room temperature eggsA couple of hours before you cook, remove the eggs from the fridge and set them out on the counter. Room temp eggs create a smooth, light sauce and theres less chance of them scrambling.
Make Sure the Eggs Dont Scramble in the sauceAdding the egg and cheese mixture can be the trickiest part of carbonara sauce. If done wrong, youll end up with a pan full of frazzled pasta and scrambled eggs. To avoid that monstrosity, be sure to remove the pan from heat before adding the egg and cheese mixture.
Theeggs will cook from the heat of the pasta into a delicate, buttery sauce.Mission accomplished!
Swap bacon with pancettaSome people swear by pancetta while others go for the bacon. Pancetta which is a much smokier, meatier form of bacon but I prefer the latter since its always in my fridge and easier to find at the local grocery. Just know that both are delicious and you need one or the other for pasta carbonara.
Read Also: Joe’s Bbq Sauce Kansas City
Reheating Carbonara In A Bain
Set up a bain-marie by resting a glass bowl on the rim of a pot on the stove. Add water to the pot, but make sure it doesnt touch the bowls base. While you slowly heat the water on a medium setting, add the carbonara to the bowl, stirring continuously until warm. Serve immediately.
If the pasta seems dry, you can add some moisture by stirring in a small quantity of a liquid, like cream, milk, stock, or water.
When the pasta is loose, and the sauce is warmed through, your meal is ready to be served.
The History Of Alfredo And Carbonara
Alfredo sauce was invented in 1914 by Alfredo di Lelio, owner of the Roman restaurant Via della Scrofa and loving husband, whose goal was to create a pasta dish for his wife who was in pain and discomfort from her pregnancy. Fettuccine Alfredo did the trick and soon the rich, simple dish was a menu staple, not only in Roman restaurants but in American restaurants too where the recipe was brought back to the states from Hollywood film actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. They fortuitously dined at Alfredo di Lelio on their honeymoon and fell in love with his fettuccine Alfredo.
The story of carbonara is not as straightforward. The recipe itself first appears in the Neopolitan cookbook Cucina Teorico Pratica, written by Ippolito Cavalcanti in 1839. The author does not provide an origin backstory but the name alla carbonara provides a few clues. The term is defined as coal-workers style but even that is not as straightforward as it seems.
Some culinary historians connect it to coal workers themselves who needed an easy-to-prepare lunch during their work shifts. Others claim the name denotes the flecks of black pepper in the dish itself that resemble specks of coal. Still others say the dish was invented by Italians during World War II who were starving until Allied Forces liberated them and offered the populace powdered eggs and bacon which were transformed into the now iconic dish.
Recommended Reading: Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
How To Make Creamy Carbonara
If you want to go as authentic as possible, nix the cream and hunt down some guanciale, which is available is most specialty Italian supermarkets. Just keep in mind that axing the cream will result in a dish that is a bit drier, hence not quite a creamy carbonara. For pasta you can also use fettuccine, rigatoni, or bucatini.
How To Store Cooked Spaghetti Carbonara
How to Keep Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Allow the spaghetti alla carbonara to cool, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes after cooking. Transfer the spaghetti alla carbonara to a tightly sealed food storage container or plastic bag. Store the sealed spaghetti alla carbonara in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Before storing it, you need to bring carbonara to room temperature. Dont store it in the fridge while its still hot, or the vapor will condense and make the pasta soggy. When stored well, carbonara can last up to 4 days in the fridge but its recommended to eat it within 24 hours since you first made it.
You May Like: Hot Sauce For Buffalo Chicken Dip
Tips For Making The Best Carbonara
The beauty of this dish is in its simplicity, yet it can take a little practice to get it just right.
- Prepare ahead: Since this dish comes together so quickly, and timing is crucial, be sure to have all of your ingredients and equipment ready to go from the start.
- Temper the eggs: Working quickly after draining the pasta is paramount to having success. To streamline things, have the beaten eggs at the ready in a bowl, and quickly whisk in a few tablespoons of reserved hot pasta cooking water to temper them. This makes them less likely to curdle once you toss them with the cooked pasta. Then toss the pasta with the tempered eggs in the still-warm cooking pot, which will help the mixture stay warm enough to melt the cheese.
- Use high-quality cheese: Set down the processed cheese shaker! For this dish, it’s key to use real, high-quality Parmesan cheese. Trust us, this recipe is worth it. If you’re going to indulge, why not do it right?
How Long Can You Keep Jarred Pasta Sauce
Similarly, this is manufacturer-specific and depends on each sauces ingredients and formulation. Our overall winner, Raos, for example, suggests that an open jar can be refrigerated and used within 10 to 12 days . It also suggests that any leftover sauce can be frozen for up to six months , which is a great idea if you dont want to waste your remaining sauce and know youll be able to use it down the line.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy The Hottest Hot Sauce
Second Get In On The Yolk
One of the biggest differences you’ll notice when reviewing carbonara recipes from around the world is that some call for whole eggs and some just the yolks. When I started working on this recipe, I was expecting to just call for whole eggs, since it’s annoying to have to decide what to do with leftover whites. We have some suggestions here, but let’s be honest: Wouldn’t it be better to not have to deal with that?
Welp, sorry to say it, but after side-by-side tests, I’ve become a yolk evangelist. If you use my recipe , you’ll have leftover egg whites to look forward to.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
In my test, I made a single portion of carbonara using 100 grams of dried pasta and a single whole egg. I measured that egg by mass and made a second batch at the same time, using the exact same amount of yolk. Take a look at the photo above, because it speaks for itself. The yolk made a tight, rich sauce that coated the spaghetti beautifully, though some tasters found it a little too rich. The whole egg thickened into a nice sauce, but was more watery , and there was really no easy way to tighten it up without scrambling the eggs.
My final recipe, which serves four, calls for mostly yolks, with just a couple of whole eggs tossed in. The result is a sauce with an absolutely perfect texture, just thick and rich enough.