It only needs about five ingredients and half an hour of your time – carbonara is one of the most popular dishes based on pasta and can always deliver.
Originating from Rome, Italy, this recipe has been widely adopted all over the world and has been through a series of changes overtime.
Obviously, there are plenty of enhancements that can make carbonara better, but if you have never had it before, you probably wonder what the original tastes like.
So, what does carbonara taste like? Here is everything you have to know.
What is Carbonara?
According to Wikipedia, carbonara is an Italian dish.
Based on eggs, cheese, pork, pepper, and pasta, the dish is said to originate from Rome, yet its popularity has only skyrocketed in the 20th century.
Italians use specific types of cheese for it – Pecorino Romano, for instance.
However, unless you live in Italy, finding them is difficult, so any cheese will do.
Spaghetti is the most popular type of pasta for this dish, but other options are also alright – linguine, rigatoni, or fettuccine, just to give you a few examples.
The same goes for the meat.
Italians rely on pancetta or guanciale.
People from all over the world use smoked bacon instead – the most common substitute.
Carbonara is one of those dishes featuring white sauce on top.
It is served hot, and it has a bunch of variations.
Now that you have a few clues about it, what should you expect from the taste?
What Does Carbonara Taste Like?
The sauce is what makes the difference in this dish.
The carbonara has a creamy texture, and it resembles the aroma of Parmesan.
It is quite thick and rich.
However, unlike other cream sauces, it does not feel too heavy.
Italians add guanciale in the pasta, which is why it may taste like other similar dishes.
Guanciale has an earthy aroma, but it also leaves a unique taste after you follow.
Some may describe this sauce as buttery.
Recipes from all over the world rely on eggs – including the original.
With all these, carbonara does not taste like eggs.
In fact, you will not even feel their flavor.
To help you figure it out, imagine pasta with a creamy sauce, but without feeling heavy.
The grainy aroma of pasta also adds to the sauce, but it makes the dish more fulfilling too.
When preparing carbonara, it is essential to use the right proportions.
The pasta is the main part of your dish, while the sauce tops it up – sure, you can stir a little before serving.
Adding too much sauce will make the dish feel too heavy and perhaps greasy and fat.
You only need to ensure you have enough for each piece of pasta to go through it.
Although you can enhance carbonara with other ingredients, avoid garlic, onion, milk, or parsley.
Such ingredients will change the taste to 180 degrees, so stay away from them.
You may, however, find recipes including garlic.
How to Prepare and Make Carbonara Sauce?
You only need a few ingredients for the sauce, and it does not require any actual cooking, so you can basically prepare it within minutes only.
Beat eggs in a bowl and season with a bit of pepper.
Add the cheese – Parmesan, usually – and stir it in as well.
Salt is also necessary.
Different recipes may include extra ingredients, but this is the most basic one – just a matter of personal preferences.
Cream can also be added to add a bit to the color, as well as the thickness.
For a single serving, you will need four eggs – keep the yolks from two of them and get rid of the whites.
The other two eggs should be used with both yolks and eggs.
You also need half a cup of thick cream, as well as about two ounces of Parmesan – it must be finely grated, so it can blend into the sauce.
Some people add the bacon – or any meat they choose – in the sauce, while others mix it into the pasta before adding the sauce.
No matter what meat you use, it should be a bit crispy, so it will need cooking for a few minutes.
The sauce itself can be made in less than five minutes and must not be cooked.
Bottom line, what does carbonara taste like? Despite being based on eggs, it does not have such an aroma.
This is because the cheese takes over.
It feels a bit thick and has a natural aroma of cream, but it feels light, and the pasta in the recipe will most likely absorb it straight away.
Overall, you can prepare carbonara pasta in less than 15 minutes.
You can also enhance it with a bunch of extras, depending on what you like.
Each ingredient can alter the taste, though.