Carbonara | Basics with Babish

Carbonara | Basics with Babish


Hey folks, About a year ago,
a group of real-deal Italian chefs savagely critiqued some of the biggest
Carbonara videos on the Internet. And as you may remember,
my entry was not very well received. Since then I’ve dreamt of
nothing but Redemption. So today we’re gonna take a crack at
two different versions of Carbonara, a real-deal old-school Italian version, and a more modern less traditional
version that’s sure to piss em’ off! Let’s get down to basics. [Intro Music] All right. So before we can make Carbonara, we’ve got to make “Carbonara” which by definition, is made with
“Guanciale”, a type of cured pork jowl. It is very delicious but a little hard to find. So if you can’t find it, you can sub
with Pancetta if you’re in a pinch. I’ve got maybe a half-pound here that
I’m gonna cut into relatively sizable chunks and then set aside to make one of the essential
elements of any Carbonara dish: The Egg Slurry. Into a medium bowl or measuring cup goes 3 large eggs,
and 1 egg yolk for a little added richness. And then it’s time to finely grate and
measure out 4 ounces of cheese. Truly traditional “Carbonara” uses
100% Pecorino Romano Cheese, but is commonly balanced out
with Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you want it a little less sharp and
a little more nutty, I’m going for a 50/50 ratio. Into which I’m going to dump our beaten eggs. We’re then going to beat this whole affair
together with a fork until homogenous. The only other thing you’re gonna want to add is
a whole lot of freshly ground black pepper. We’re not adding any salt yet
because “Guanciale” can vary in saltiness, and we don’t want to oversalt our dish. Beat that together until well incorporated and
then it’s time to head over to the Stovetop, where we are introducing the “Guanciale” to a cold pan. We’re then gonna turn the heat to medium. This is gonna cook the “Guanciale” more slowly
and allow more of its fat to render out which in traditional “Carbonara” is a good thing. Once it is fully cooked but not too crispy, we’re gonna kill the heat
and put our pasta in the hot tub. The water is “Salato come il mare”,
or as salty as the sea. And we gotta keep it moving to
prevent it from sticking together. And then a cool trick to determine pasta’s doneness is to take out a strand and eat it to see if it’s done. Don’t throw it against the wall, you friggin’ weirdo. As you can see, our pork jowl has
almost entirely stopped bubbling. That’s exactly where we want it to be. And as soon as the pasta is done, we’re dumping it directly into
the saute pan with the “Guanciale”. Once all the pasta is being added
we’re gonna toss it around in the pan, ensuring that it is evenly
covered in all that “Guanciale” fat. And you wanna work quickly here. Because the only thing that’s going to
cook our egg slurry and make it smooth and creamy is the residual heat from the Pasta. So waste no time getting the egg and cheese
mixture in there and then agitate rigorously! This is going to help emulsify the sauce
and keep it creamy and prevent it from curdling. If you find that it’s not as smooth as you’d like,
you can add a little bit of pasta water, like a 1/4 cup. But ideally, it should look just like this. Now we’re gonna taste for seasoning,
(Mine needs a little bit of salt). Then you can optionally toss the pasta. This is gonna help aerate it a little bit,
get that sauce super creamy! And then, finally it’s time to plate up!! I like to use a carving fork to twirl the
pasta into a giant cylinder like this one for presentation on a long narrow plate. We are then of course going to
want to top this Hedonistic Helix with the remaining “Guanciale”
from the bottom of the pan along with any remnants of that creamy sauce! And there you have it folks! I’m going to say it one last time: “Carbonara”,
in its purest most authentic and traditional form. Unless of course I got something
wrong, in which case I’m in trouble. But at this point I’m gonna ask all Italians to leave
the room, because it’s time to make carbonara. This starts very much the same way
with Parmesan and Romano cheese grated into a bowl along with
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten together with a few healthy
twists of freshly ground black pepper. Now when most Americans make
Carbonara, they reach for the bacon. If you can’t find “Guanciale” or “Pancetta”
and you got to use bacon, just go for the thick-cut stuff. And likewise we’re gonna slice about
1/2 a pound of it into big ol’ chunks. Then likewise, we’re gonna start
these guys off in a cold pan, because we want to render out as much fat
as possible, but not for the same reason. You’ll also notice that I’m using a nonstick pan. And that’s because in the stainless, bacon can leave
a lot of fond on the bottom of the pot. Which for once we don’t want, as it might
make our final pasta look kind of dirty. Once the bacon is fully cooked and the fat
rendered out, we are going to strain it. Because this version of Carbonara
is going to have a much lighter sauce. We’re just going to strain off all but
about 2 tbsp worth of bacon fat, which we’re gonna leave in the pan. And then we’re gonna return it over medium-low heat to
add the most egregious ingredient of all: garlic. This is considered sacrilege
in the world of “Carbonara”, but I think it tastes really
really good, and so will you. We’re just sautéing for 1 minute
until fragrant before killing the heat. Next up, I see far too many people just
dump pasta out of the box in the water which inevitably leads to disaster. Give this a shot, where you dump
the pasta into the palm of your hand and then pull it out using
your hand, like a real gentleman. And as you can see, this time
I’m going with Bucatini. Next up, just like last time we’re adding
the pasta directly to the pan, but this time we’re gonna add about
1/3 of a cup of starchy pasta water which is gonna help make a cohesive sauce. Then we are adding the egg
and cheese mixture to the party. And if you find yourself in a pickle like this where
your pan is too small to toss the pasta, no biggie! Just dump it back into the emptied pasta pot. Just make sure that you keep it moving
because there’s a lot of residual heat in here and we don’t want to end up with
pasta and scrambled eggs. So just wildly agitate that around
and then it’s time to taste for seasoning! Add salt and pepper as necessary
and assess your sauce’s thickness. If it’s not quite thick enough, you can rescue it
with a little bit of finely-grated Parmesan. Just add maybe another 1/4 oz
or so and mix rigorously. And now it’s time to plate up!! And one thing you’ll notice about this Carbonara is that the sauce is much lighter
because it has a lot less fat. It also stays creamier longer and
won’t congeal as quickly as “Carbonara”. And the Bucatini, while a little bit difficult to
get on one’s fork, is dense and chewy and lovely. Whichever version of Carbonara
you decide to make for yourself, I hope this has shown you how easy it can be,
so long as you follow a few simple tricks! Now go out there, get some pasta,
and start rolling your R’s.

100 thoughts on “Carbonara | Basics with Babish”

  1. My brother thinks that throwing pasta against the wall is the correct way to check if it's done, so he was throwing a bunch at the wall and like three got stuck on the ceiling.

  2. I totaly agree that you shold not use cream for carbonara, but the essential of a good cook is to make a good dish with what you allready have in your kitchen. When you are able to substitute for things that are not avialbe and the dish still tasts great than you are a good cook.

  3. You know what the saying goes
    If you cant cook carbonara right Italian mafias will come to your house and kidnap your wife

  4. Those eye-talian chefs can suck my star-spangled dick. They took pasta from the Chinese and we perfected it here (with your help of course). Fuckin' eye-talians…

  5. Cook your spaghetti in a wide frypan rather than a deep pot. Horizontal, not vertical. This uses much less water, requires much less energy and gives you starchier pasta water for thickening your sauce. 🙂
    That is – with the two cooking pans you have there, I would have used the pot for the sauce, and the fry pan for the pasta – the opposite to the way you have used them.

  6. How on earth did you need to add more salt at the end? If you salt your water to be as salty as the sea it is 100 percent sure that your carbonara will be overpowered by saltiness, since pecorino is a really salty cheese add guianciale to it and it will be more than enough salt in your dish. So please don't tell me that you generously salted your water but in the end you still had to add salt to it.

  7. So… we're all just gonna ignore the elephant in the room here..? What happend with the leftover bacon grease?????

  8. Dude, you did everything perfect in the 1st recipe until I saw at 2:45 you added the salt at the end…. You put the salt in the water and then, as you said, the guanciale is already salty so… Whyyyy??

  9. Every Italian is acting like you have to follow the recipe to an absolute fucking T to even have the honour of calling it by it’s widely known name. I live in Australia, and am lucky to live near an area with a large Italian populous that am able to get largely the ‘correct’ ingredients. But what about people who don’t live near a suburb like that? Is their only way of ever dreaming to have ‘carbonara’ is to literally book a ticket to fly to Italy? That’s a lot to ask. And I’m sure you Italians wouldn’t book a ticket to Thailand to eat Thai food because an ingredient like Bok Choy isn’t readily available.

  10. Babish ain't doing this shit right. NO PANCETTA, NO PARMIGGIANO, the water is not SALATO COME IL MARE (which btw it is SALATA). Go back to make "carbonee44aaaa" or burgers.

  11. I'm definitely not in the old school. I've never even heard of that cut of pork. Pancetta I can find, but I think the only real difference between it and American slab bacon is that is isn't cured. Carbonara must have garlic (which is true even with ice cream; not all flavors, of course). But what I'm missing here is chopped Italian leaf parsley as a topping. I've never been a huge fan of parsley, but in this dish, it is a MUST. And lot's of it.

  12. the second part is an insult to Italian cuisine, Italian dishes, make them cook for us, or cook them properly

  13. I like the idea someone posted about the critic series "Bitching with Babish," but I would suggest it being where you and a celebrity chef challenge food critics to put their "expert" knowledge to the test by challenging them to a cook off over the dishes they have harshly/unfairly critiqued. To paraphrase an old saying: Those who can do, those who can't become critics.

  14. gonna try a Best of Both Worlds sort of thing since my mom's hyped to make it; we got some pancetta (since there's no guanciale to be found), and she'd throw a fuckin' fit if she saw that the guanciale fat is to stay and not to be dumped, but if it's part of the recipe it could sway her. Will report the results A$AP

  15. I can see you’re improving mate, with the 1st recipe. However you never add salt to already cooked pasta, this is a massive mistake 😜

  16. however, if you dump it into your hand you risk dumping half of the noodles onto the floor and embarrassing yourself in front of literally everybody in existence. commenting uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for a friend

  17. il mondo intero: mettete un pizzico di questo, 10 gr di quello, 20 gr di quest'altro. in italia: l'uovo e il guanciale del mese scorso sono l'unica cosa rimasta in figo – carbonara per cena!

  18. the secret for a real creamy, silky and velvety pasta is the starch, in particular the pasta starchy water. Next time try to do like this: prepare guanciale or pancetta, after that remove it, but leave in the pan the fat. Then cook pasta for half of the cooking time. When that point has been reached, pour some starchy pasta water in the pan (heat on), and then the pasta as well. Continue cooking it, adding some pasta water when necessary, until al dente (or until you like it). Then out of the heat, add the egg+cheese mixture and serve immediately. You will see that the pasta will have a much creamier texture, with the sauce sticked on the pasta, instead than a creamy sauce sitting above a dry pasta.

  19. You need to emphasize on the pepper part a little bit more, it is one of the main ingredients for this recipe

  20. Why is it that when i do what Babish-sama says to the T; I don't trust his recipe halfway and i get done and it looks and tastes freaking AMAZING! I look at myself at the end like…. "damn"

    This pasta was very Cheesy and tasty… if you like sharp/nutty cheese and have a hankering for an italian dish I'd HIGHLY recommend this dish!!

  21. I don't think that food philosophy and in particular food fundamentalism is exclusive to Italy. A recipe is the meaning of a dish, like semantics are the meaning of words. If a recipe doesn't call for an ingredient, there's good reason why, and should you change it, you therefore change the name of the dish. Of course you can put all kinds of stuff in your Carbonara, just don't call it Carbonara, then. You may also put mayo on your Pastrami on Rye, and use ham instead of Pastrami, if it "tastes better". Don't call it Pastrami on Rye though. If you prefer your Asian food to be eaten with two pencils instead of chop sticks, that's fine as well, but don't call the pencils chop sticks.

  22. One tip on cooking spaghetti I learned from Jamie Oliver, is that you should take spaghetti by the middle with two hands and twist before putting them in boiling water. This way the strands separate into almost a flower-shape and don't stick together.

  23. I don't care, I'm still adding garlic to my Pasta Carbonara. It's a 5 ingredient dish, there is no way of making it wrong. You have to be an insecure elitist prick to call people out on bullsh*t like this. Make the dish the way you like it, don't listen to sad fat Italian men trying to validate their life choices.

  24. As an italian follower, I find your carbonara almost perfect
    And I damn loved how you said "salato come il mare"! <3

  25. So because that type of ham is hard to get (live in Japan) I use salted pork. Great salt levels and I also use heavy cream to make it saucy. When I went to Venice and Florence earlier this year, I ended up liking my version much more than the ones I tried.

  26. I really can't get the difficulty of getting the right recipe and just do it. I mean, you can cook pasta the way you prefer, and there's nothing wrong with it. But if you call a pasta dish "carbonara" it has to be it. There's only one recipe of carbonara and I didn't see it in this video. I'm not complaining about the second version, is not carbonara but it surely tastes good and it seems creamy as well. But none of the two dishes shown in this video are carbonara (and that's not guanciale at all!).
    Nevertheless I enjoyed the video and left a huge like.
    Take care

  27. If u can't get your hands on the cheese mentioned in the video, is the another cheese you could use, one that is easyer to come by (especially in Germany) ?

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