Fry pancetta on low just to warm it up (It’s cured and does not need to be cooked to eat safely).
Heat bowl in oven at 250º.
Beat egg yolks, then add grated cheese, add cream, and add some ground pepper.
Bring water to a boil and add salt.
Melt butter – keep warm but not boiling.
Cook spaghetti “al dente” (Usually about 8–10 minutes).
Take ceramic bowl out of the oven and put on a hot pad near the sink. Drain spaghetti in the colander and put it in the heated ceramic bowl.
1) Add egg, cream, cheese, and pepper mixture, and toss thoroughly with spaghetti
2) Add warm butter and toss
3) Add most of the pancetta and toss
4) Add a slight dusting of black pepper on top
5) Place remainder of pancetta on top of spaghetti and serve
6) Have some extra pepper as well as grated cheese on the table for guests to sprinkle on their servings if they desire.
The key to this recipe’s success (and fun) is that the pasta actually cooks the sauce. Therefore the time between draining the water out of the spaghetti in the colander to adding the egg/cream/cheese/pepper mixture should be as fast as safely possible. (It’s kind of a choreographic project in most kitchens actually, just be careful not to burn yourself.)
Semi-dry white wines are the table wines of the Lazio region of Italy where this dish originated – e.g. Fontana Frascati is a very affordable wine from this area. Other tasty and affordable Italian alternatives are Orvieto Classico and Pino Grigio. On the other hand, some suggest that Carbonara should be served with a red wine like a Merlot or a Chianti. This just goes to show that when it comes to choosing wine for food – pick any color or country you want as long as you like it.
Carbonara has its origins in a region of Italy called Lazio, or Latium. Carbonara is known for its simplicity and full-bodied flavor which coincides nicely with the down-to-earth and straightforward personality of the people who created it. Carbonara is usually made with spaghetti but it tastes great with all kinds of pastas. One of the more popular alternatives to spaghetti is Penne alla Carbonara.
Caveat! Any and all restaurants (regardless of their pedigree, nationality, or sense of self-importance) whose Carbonara dishes contain additional ingredients such as peas, onions, nutmeg (yuck), parsley, etc. are serving a tragic forgery. Such imposters deserve to be banned from the menus and tables of all restaurants (and the planet actually!) so that all whose pallets yearn to experience and savor the true, uncomplicated, and yet tantalizingly robust flavors of Italy can safely do so without confusion or temerity! Attempted humorous hyperbole aside, you will probably find – sadly of course – that almost all restaurants do actually add some such ingredients to their Carbonara recipes. (Actually some have suggested that the original recipe for Carbonara did not include cream, but yeah, as long as it’s still up for debate, I’m adding cream!) Bottom line, if you’re a stickler for authenticity and you don’t want to fly to Italy for dinner, you might want to consider just making Carbonara yourself, because yours will be better.