“I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe. I’ve seen cream, and onions mixed together, and for some reason green peas and bacon. And ketchup, oh my goodness, ketchup! All these things will hopefully be lost in time, like egg whites in a drain”
According to a Peer Reviewed Study conducted by Professor John Rigatoni at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 99.7% of Carbonaras made in the world, are done wrong. Sometimes very wrong, stuff like cream or ketchup. But the reality is that Carbonara is not easy to do well, the very issue is quite tricky, even in Italy.
The dish origins in fact from central Italy, and calls for very few, precise ingredients: pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni), eggs, guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino romano cheese, black pepper. Each of these ingredients is essential. If you don’t have one, that’s no Carbonara you’re cooking and no, you can’t use pancetta or bacon instead. Despite being a very basic preparation, people tend to overcook eggs that end up being scrambled, and that’s when you get what I like to call ‘pasta with frittata’: it’s quite disgusting. Instead, a good Carbonara needs a smooth creamy mix of eggs and cheese, the eggs must start to gelatinize, but never to coagulate too much. It’s tricky, it’s very difficult to achieve the right consistency, either you overcook it with the results described, or you undercook and the eggs remain too liquid. So I came up with a method for Dummies that works all the time and I’m very happy to share it with you, so that you can spread the word, and maybe one day all the atrocities and mayhem will stop, and people will not put ketchup on Carbonara any more.