Do you love eating carbonara but struggle whenever you try to make it? Are you tired of creating a scrambled egg dish instead of a silky and delicious pasta dish?
People all over the world love Italian food, but sometimes it’s tricky to cook at home. The good news is that there are several tips for making carbonara that’ll make the entire process much easier.
Keep reading to learn more about how to cook the perfect carbonara every time!
1. Room Temperature Eggs
When you plan on making a carbonara dish, you’ll want to prepare your eggs ahead of time. Instead of taking them straight out of the fridge and into the dish, put them on the counter for an hour or so before you plan to cook.
This gives the eggs time to reach room temperature and makes them simple to work into the rest of the sauce. If you add them to your hot ingredients while the eggs are cold, there’s too much of a temperature difference. Some parts will start to cook while other parts remain raw.
This is one of the biggest reasons people end up with scrambled eggs when they try to make carbonara at home. Taking a minute to set out your eggs makes a huge difference in the end result. It’s a simple trick that requires little effort!
2. Whisk and Mix
Once your eggs reach room temperature, you’ll want to give them a good whisk. Spend a minute or two with a hand whisk and mix the eggs until smooth. You shouldn’t be able to see any separation of eggs whites and eggs yolks by the time you’re done.
Then it’s time to add in the other ingredients.
By whisking the eggs before you mix in everything else, you’ll ensure that the eggs spread more evenly throughout the sauce. This is another way to get those eggs to behave when you add them to the hot pan. Instead of having random blobs of egg whites cooking before the rest, you’ll have a balanced mixture that cooks all at the same time.
3. Lots of Fresh Black Pepper
You can’t learn how to make carbonara without including a lot of cracked black pepper. It’s the signature part of the entire dish and no true carbonara is complete without it. Always add a little more than you think you’ll need.
The best way to ensure that your carbonara tastes authentic is to use the freshest black pepper possible. Powdered pepper in a bottle doesn’t have the same zing as whole peppercorns. Those spice bottles sometimes sit around for months at a time and they lose their potency quicker than you might think.
That’s why you’ll want to use a pepper grinder for the best effect. A mortar and pestle work in a pinch, but you’ll need to sift the peppercorns through a sieve to get rid of big chunks.
4. Use a Large Pasta Pot
When it’s time to boil up your pasta, you want to make certain that the pot is large enough. Many people don’t realize how important this is to cooking pasta. Without enough space to move around, that pasta won’t cook and it’ll stick together in unappetizing clumps.
A large stockpot is perfect for this part of the dish. Make sure that it’s big enough to add around four inches of water above the pasta. A lot of that water will disappear during the cooking process, so there needs to be plenty available.
Don’t forget to add a good amount of salt to the water as well!
5. Add Pasta Water to the Dish
Once your pasta is ready, don’t throw away all of that starchy water. Instead, save a ladle or two of the water to add to your carbonara mixture.
The pasta exudes excess starch into the water as it cooks. When added to your carbonara, pasta water makes the entire dish more luxurious and creamy. This is because that starch is a natural thickener and helps give sauces a velvety texture.
It also makes the heat less of a shock for your egg mixture. Instead of sticking to the hot pan, the pasta water provides an extra buffer. Your eggs won’t scramble as they mix into the rest of the sauce.
This trick works on all kinds of pasta dishes. Try it out the next time you make spaghetti and meat sauce!
6. Remove the Pan From the Stove
After you’ve prepared everything and the pasta is almost done, take the main pan off the heat before you add in the rest of the ingredients. The eggs will cook too fast if they’re added to a searing hot pan.
By taking off the pan from the stove, you’ll give it enough time to cool down. Even a few seconds off of the heat source is enough time to cool the pan down to a better temperature.
Mix all of the ingredients until the eggs are incorporated into the sauce. Once you feel confident in the structure of the sauce, it’s okay to put the pan back on the stove if necessary.
7. Experiment With New Combinations
There’s nothing quite as delicious as the classic combination of pasta, salty bacon, and a peppery sauce. However, there are many ways to amp up your carbonara so that it’ll be exciting no matter how many times you have it for dinner.
For example, turkey carbonara is a delicious alternative to traditional bacon. Try using different types of carbonara pasta, such as farfalle or fusilli instead of spaghetti. Add mushrooms, carrots, or peas to the sauce mixture for a healthier variety.
A few changes are all it takes to feel as though you’re enjoying this delicious dish for the first time all over again!
Never Make a Scrambled Carbonara Ever Again
Whether you’re making a family dinner or getting ready for a party, these tips will ensure that your carbonara is perfect every time you head over to the kitchen. Even if you make a good carbonara already, this guide brings it to a whole new level.
You and your loved ones will enjoy your peppery pasta masterpiece more than ever before!
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