Today we celebrate Carbonara
Today, 6th April, the world celebrates a famous dish, the strong suit of many foodies: Carbonara! CarbonaraDay was born thanks to the will of the International Pasta Organization and the Association of the National manufacturing industries of Pasta and Confectionery. Thus, this is the perfect occasion to cook and try its perfect recipe, discover its origins and the worst mistakes to avoid.
The origins of Carbonara
There are different hypothesis on the origins of this recipes that belongs to the tradition of Lazio and on the birth of this dish. One version, that explain even the origin the name Carbonara, suggests that it was usually ate by “carbonai” (in Roman dialect “carbonari”) while working on the charcoal mine of Appennini. They imported in Lazio as well, the custom to season pasta with egg and bacon.
Another version was created in the XIX century by the Neapolitan writer Ippolito Cavalcanti in its work “Cucina Teorico-Pratica” of 1837. Here he wrote that the recipe was born in a kitchen of Neaples.
The last thesis, the most curious one, says that the recipe owe the Americans a favour. According to this version, the idea was born thanks to the K-rations of the American troupes that foresee powdered egg and bacon. Mixing the ingredients with a dose of carbohydrates it was possible to obtain a complete meal and to satisfy the soldiers’ needs the restaurants started to serve this dish as well.
We like to think that Carbonara was born in Italy, as its delicious taste is given by the high quality of the local ingredients: cheek lard, pecorino cheese, fresh eggs and spaghetti.
The perfect recipe wants spaghetti, but, if you prefer, you can use also short pasta like “mezze maniche” or “rigatoni”. The seasoning is obtained searing in a pan the thin sticks of cheek lard (do not use oil, but use the fat of the cheek lard that will melt on the fire) and whipped egg with abundant grinded pecorino cheese. When the pasta is “al dente”, turn the fire off, place in a pan with cheek lard, and pour the whipped egg. Mix until it makes a thick cream adding, if it is necessary a few cooking water. Pay attention to not cook the egg too much, it has to be liquid but creamy. A sprinkle of pepper is a must.
The perfect carbonara: 5 mistakes to avoid
What you don’t have to while preparing a Carbonara?
- Do not use cream to dilute the egg, the taste can compromise the final result at the cost of a fat consistency in the mouth.
- Do not use Parmigiano or Grana, the recipe comes from Lazio, thus respect the traditions and use Pecorino.
- Do not use smoked bacon or other types of cured meats, choose cheek lard! If it is impossible to find, use bacon (also called in Italy, “Pancetta tesa”).
- Do not use cold eggs but they should be at room temperature, to avoid that they thicken in contact with pasta.
- Do not add the egg while the fire is still turned on. You risk to obtain an omelette instead of a thick cream.