How many carbonara recipes exist?
For the orthodoxes of the carbonara, there is only the one made with crispy guanciale(*), whisked eggs yolk and pecorino romano cheese, the others, if exist, are not true carbonara but something else; but going back in time, we realize that this delicious dish of Italian cuisine, has a recent history, and in about seventy years of life has undergone transformations lasting even long periods where the orthodoxes of the carbonara of those times, recognized it as the original single discarding all the others.
One of the latest transformations dates back to some years ago with the advent of the low-temperature cooking technique (Sous Vide) that promises to obtain a perfect consistency of the eggs without adding cream or other ingredients: actually, I get the same consistency even with the classic method but so is it.
In the specialized pages of blogs and social media, the controversy surrounding the carbonara regarding the ingredients and its preparation are the subject of clashes between the insiders, each one with its own pecorino cheese or guanciale, each one convinced that the creaminess of his is better than that of another, the common denominator is the good quality of the pasta.
But what triggers the insiders is the “Carbonaragate“, the scandal originated by the video of the French version of Carbonara who sparked outrage from Italian foodies who made the following request: “Let Italians cook pasta, please!”
The french crap carbonara, indeed, using boiled bacon, crème fraîche and a raw egg, leave the internet appalled.
Not even the time to turn off the echo of the comments, a new video it appears, if is possible, even worse than the previous.
The carbonara, as I think we understand, is a very loved and debated dish of the traditional Italian cuisine, upset the recipe is like equalize “pate de porc” to the “foie gras” or use pork in the “beef Wellington”: you can’t compare apples to oranges!
On the origin of carbonara, there are, at least, three hypotheses.
The first assigns the paternity to Renato Gualandi who would create it at the end of the second world war.
According to the second, the dish would be an invention of the “Carbonari” (not the Risorgimental rebels so-called), those who made charcoal, a long job during which they fed with easy-to-find ingredients mixed with macaroni.
The third and last origin would be Neapolitan, the hypothesis put forward by an Italian-American journalist as bizarre as arrogant, who credits his thesis uphold that similar ingredients appear in various recipes of that region: with all respect for Naples and its wonderful cuisine, I think that such a thesis has no foundation because many other Italian regions have the same ingredients in their recipes and it is not clear why the Neapolitan.
Which of the three hypotheses is the right one, probably will never know, however, one thing is certain: the carbonara is perfectly suited to the Roman cuisine that was, and still is, made with flavours and rustic ingredients such as guanciale and pecorino.
I then gathered over the 10 carbonara’s recipes, starting with the first of Chef Renato Gualandi until today, it will be interesting to see how a dish could have had so many transformations.
1944, September 22: the first carbonara – Chef Renato Gualandi
The first homologated carbonara is that of Renato Gualandi who cooked the dish in Riccione (Italy) during the meeting between the English VIII Army and the American V. He seasoned the pasta with mixed bacon, cream of milk, cheese and egg-yolk powder and ground pepper that the Americans had in large quantities and served this pasta for dinner to the generals and the officers, a successful choice.
1952: Pasta Carbonara -y Patricia Bronté
She coock the first carbonara appears to Chicago: tagliolini, eggs, lettuce and parmigiano.
1954: Spaghetti alla carbonara – “Italian cuisine”, III, 8 (August 1954)
The first Italian recipe. In this version, it was made from eggs, bacon, gruyere cheese, garlic and pepper.
1954: Spaghetti alla carbonara – “Harper’s Bazaar”
An unorthodox American carbonara with butter, clams, yolks of eggs, Parmesan cheese and pepper.
1955: Macaroni alla carbonara – Felix Dessì, La signora in the kitchen
This time the pasta should be seasoned with eggs, Parmesan or pecorino cheese and pepper.
1960: Spaghetti alla carbonara – Luigi Carnacina, La grande cucina
A great Chef inaugurates the guanciale and cream season and the other ingredients are butter, whole eggs, grated Parmesan cheese and pepper.
1986: Bucatini alla carbonara – Matilde Laurenti, The true Roman cuisine
The carbonara orthodoxy makes its way into a recipe book dedicated to Roman specialities. The ingredients are bucatini, bacon or guanciale, eggs, grated Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and pepper.
1989: Spaghetti alla carbonara – Gualtiero Marchesi, Italian regional cuisine
Ingredients: guanciale, cream, egg yolks, grated pecorino cheese, butter, salt and pepper.
2017: Carbonara cooked at low temperature
Ingredients: spaghetti Cavalieri or big spaghetti Rummo, as many whole eggs as many egg yolks, guanciale, grated pecorino romano cheese, a little salt and abundant pepper. The sauce obtained with the eggs yolk and pecorino cheese is cooked in Sous Vide.
Spaghetti alla carbomatriciana – Luca Cesari
The two recipes symbol of the Roman tradition gathered in a single dish that looks to the future.
Ingredients: spaghetti Cavalieri or big spaghetti Rummo, as many whole eggs as many egg yolks, guanciale, grated pecorino romano cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, a little salt and abundant pepper.
Appetite comes with eating, and after the first list of 10 carbonaras, I have looked for what other changes have been made.
Carbonara: the author variants
Carbonara di pesce
Aurora Mazzucchelli prepared her dish using scallops and mullets. No eggs, replaced by an emulsion of scallops corals.
Carbonara di montagna
The South Tyrolean chef Norbert Niederkofler use only local products such as spelt pasta, lard, speck powder and mountain grazing cheese.
Risotto alla carbonara
Christian and Manuel Costardi seasoned their risotto with beaten egg yolk, crispy bacon, pecorino cream and a sprinkling of pepper.
Carbonara ice cream
Iside De Cesare transformed into ice cream eggs and cheese with the spaghetti of courgettes, crispy bacon and black truffle.
Fagottelli(**) alla Carbonara
Heinz Beck the dressing stuffed the fagottelli while the sauce is based on veal and zucchini.
Negativo di carbonara
Antonello Colonna: also in this case it is the pasta to be filled with carbonara and then seasoned in the crème fraîche.
Stefano Callegari merges the classic pizza base and the traditional carbonara seasoning.
Black is black
Davide Scabin spaghetti with cuttlefish ink cooked in a vacuum, caviar and cream of eggs whipped with guanciale fat and cheese.
Sommario di carbonara
Riccardo Di Giacinto who enclose all the elements (eggs, cheese, guanciale) within an eggshell.
Simone Salvini presents his carbonara prepared with wholemeal spaghetti, tofu and almond milk: in 3 ingredients we summarize the philosophy in the kitchen of Simone Salvini (sic!).
Carbonara di mare
Mauro Uliassi season his dish with a cream composed by mantis shrimps eggs, grey mullet eggs and sea urchins. The guanciale is replaced by cod tripe.
Carbonara a freddo
Paolo Parisi features fresh eggs tagliolini, a mix of Parmesan and pecorino cheese, eggs, marjoram, lemon and squeezed garlic.
The Japanese Chef Kotaro Noda promises to cook a carbonara lighter than a salad thanks to the particular glaze of the bacon in the oven to prevent it from reaching the smoke point.
Roy Caceres serves it as an appetizer and not as a first dish completely deform in the concept of a typical dish, it is an egg cooked at 65 ° C topped with a mousse of pecorino cheese and parmesan.
The pasta? Puffed rigatoni and crispy bacon.
Ferran Adrià proposes taglierini topped with Parmesan cheese, smoked bacon, egg, plus a “reinforcement” of agar-agar powder, butter, cream, truffle oil and, in the creative version, even peas.
Carbonara: the home variants
Composed of eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, tuna and parsley as well as oil, salt and pepper.
Carbonara with mushrooms and bacon
Composed of porcini mushrooms, diced bacon, Parmesan cheese, parsley, eggs and garlic as well as oil, salt and pepper.
Carbonara with aubergines
Composed of aubergines, Parmesan cheese, capers and eggs as well as oil, salt and pepper.
Carbonara with peppers
Composed of tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers and eggs as well as oil, salt and pepper.
Vegetarian zucchini carbonara
Composed of eggs, pecorino cheese and zucchini as well as oil, salt and pepper.
The Italian patriotism, already sarcastically described by Winston Churchill who claimed that “the Italians lose the football matches as if they were wars and lose the wars as if they were football matches”, could be further enriched with the rewriting of article 1 of the Constitution as follows: “Italy is a democratic republic founded on Carbonara, sovereignty appertain to the egg yolk, which is whisked according to pecorino and limits of the guanciale”.
Carbonara: the crap variants
Carbonara americana italian style
Frozen bacon (so that it is easier than cut it into cubes) fried, whole eggs, butter, garlic, cream, peas and Parmesan cheese: next ingredients? Beetroot, broccoli or cucumber?
The French Chef who calved a similar abortion has perfumed it with “Eau de tristesse”.
He seasoned farfalle (***) (cooked in water and oil, to prevent sticking and obtaining a slimy product to which no sauce can stick) with boiled bacon and shallot, crème fraîche, parsley, as well as salt and pepper. Once placed up the pasta, a raw egg is added to its centre (hopefully fresh and without salmonellosis problems).
Baked carbonara with asparagus
Created from an overseas disturbed mind, the dish composed of lardon, cheese, eggs, asparagus and cream, has nothing in common with the traditional recipe that does not include oven or asparagus.
Proposed by a terrifying restaurant in Bogota, it is made up of chunks of chicken and unspecified vegetables. The “Italian food” hashtag would be enough provocation to declare war on the South American country.
Carbonara and cutlet
I wonder why we did not take us to accompany the pasta to a chicken schnitzel with fries. Composed of cheese, potato, chilli sauce, milk and… a touch of class: the raw sliced tomato.
Carbonara broccoli and chicken
A Chinese who prepares a carbonara in New York? Probably the Google translation service did not work right because he has prepared the criminal dish with roasted chicken and broccoli. The only acceptable ingredient is linguini.
There is no limit to the worst, this Chilean version of carbonara is the proof. Impossible understand how this obscenity was composed if this mess contains pasta or something else, just a dish filled with an orange-yellow broth that seems to contain potatoes with a pile of minced vegetable that could be parsley.
Carbonara with hazelnuts
Directly from the capital of the Czech Republic, here is another unprecedented crap composed of roasted cauliflower and hazelnuts. Are we sure it’s not the squirrels’ food? Will they bark the nuts before putting them on the plate?
Have you finished the pancetta (not even to talk about guanciale) and all the shops are closed? Or are you lazy to go out shopping? Does not matter, open the fridge, get hotdogs, eggs and cream, the first cheese you find and the pasta is ready… to be thrown into the trash basket.
Carbonara for disturbed minds
Wholemeal pasta, tuna, yoghurt, mushrooms, onion, minced turkey, eggs and pepper: whoever has made this list of ingredients has no idea what it is a carbonara. But the sublime art of the author of this crap is expressed with the fried egg on top of the pasta: put on the top of the steamed rice is Thai cuisine, but on the carbonara is an absolutely no-sense.
Carbonara with precooked rice noodles
Asia also affects carbonara even though, with this recipe, it is even closer to the original one than most others. As a premise, the author uses pre-cooked noodles, rolled bacon thinly cut into strips and fried, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and pepper. I put it in the worst variants even if it does not deserve so much severity of judgment, but I continue to prefer good quality pasta cooked at the moment and you?
Lemon juice, eggs yolk, avocado, cream, salt and pepper: why not find a name for this recipe by this unknown author, this new Chef in search of an author? Carbonara is carbonara if there is the avocado would be called avogadonara.
Spiralized Sweet Potato Carbonara noodles
Eggs, parmesan cheese, pepper and few tablespoons of cooking water season the noodles (obtained from the carving of sweet potatoes) boiled in hot water for around 3 minutes and drained. Into this mess are added mushrooms, spinach and bacon sautéed in a pan with garlic and olive oil. I am speechless (and is better)!
Carbonara with whole fish
Finally an unpublished ingredient: salmon. Broccoli and steamed salmon for an inedible crap. Please avoid to call it carbonara, no even a dog can eat.
Smoked salmon carbonara
Whole eggs, cream, smoked salmon, onion, shallot, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, pepper and olive oil. Please stop with Master Chef programs, wake up, just a question to the author of this crap: how many ingredients does original carbonara require?
Cheese cream carbonara
Milk, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, peas, fried bacon and cream cheese to season this new entry carbonara pasta. The purpose of this lethal recipe has double effects: destroy the reputation of carbonara and enrich the drugs corporations, I just watched the video and my cholesterol raised.
Carbonara in the microwave
Crippled spaghetti and diced bacon get killed by microwave in a little water, drained and seasoned with lyophilized chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, cream and pepper. Why so much cruelty?
Spaghetti carbonara mega hiper sztoss – Krzysztof Szufla
From Poland with fury, tomatoes, cubes of baked pork, sauteed mushrooms, a lot of frozen paprika, mix of frozen spices and herbs. The composition of the dish is even more bizarre, if possible, of the ingredients and is made by leaning on lettuce leaves the first layer of boiled tagliatelle, seasoning it with the mixture of the above ingredients, adding thick slices of Camamberg Cheese (I know, even the French Chefs are thinking to invade Poland), a not specified grated cheese; the second layer of tagliatelle that goes seasoned with the rest of the ingredients on the list and… ketchup spread on the top. Would be better for everyone if Krzysztof Szufla cooking his zurek, barszcz bialy, bigos etc, hoping he cooks those better than carbonara.
Soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, liquid smoke, mushrooms, garlic, soaked cashews, soy milk, nutritional yeast, silken tofu and peas. Flying over the complex and absurd preparation, the incredible list of ingredients used to compose a dish (that originally needs just three basic ingredients), no one in this recipe recall the carbonara, give a different name no?
Carbonara with ice cream
This is at the top of the crap recipes: fried bacon, egg and cream seasoned pasta above which is added a scoop of ice cream. Well, with this flagship, the mad cook has scraped the bottom of the barrel.
(*) Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek
(**) Fagottelli is a kind of stuffed pasta
(***) Farfalle is a kind of pasta that takes its name from the butterfly that the particular shape recalls