Have you ever wanted to make an amazing carbonara? This is a fantastic dish that many people love eating, and there are lots of variations to try – but how do you make the best carbonara ever? This flexible meal can be as simple or as complicated as you like, depending on your tastes and the occasion you’re cooking for.
We are going to look at some top recipes, including shrimp carbonara, chicken carbonara, and a mushroom twist on this classic recipe. However you choose to make this meal, you can enjoy its creamy goodness with minimal work, because it is super easy.
The Best Carbonara Recipe
So, let’s look at the best carbonara recipe there is for creating simple, easy carbonara from scratch.
You will need:
Step 1) Bring a large pan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt to the water. Add your spaghetti to the water when it reaches a rapid boil.
Step 2) Chop your bacon into fine pieces so that it can be stirred through the rest of the sauce.
Step 3) Add the olive oil to a frying pan and warm it until it is hot. When it is, add the chopped bacon and gently brown it over a medium heat. When the bacon is brown, take the pan off the heat.
Step 4) Beat the eggs until they are frothy, and then set aside.
Step 5) Drain the pasta when it is al dente, and retain a quarter of a cup of water from the cooking pot.
Step 6) Put the drained pasta in a bowl, and add the frothed eggs. Pour in the reserved cooking water, and toss the whole dish vigorously until it is well mixed. Keep tossing constantly until the eggs have cooked, or the eggs will lump up and you will get spaghetti with scrambled egg. The stirring is very important here.
Step 7) Add in the cooked bacon and toss again.
Step 8) Add black pepper and more salt if you like, and then add the cup of cheese. Toss and mix the whole batch until it is well combined.
Note: You can add another egg yolk or even two if you would like a richer, thicker sauce, but this is not necessary. You can also increase the quantity of cheese if you choose to.
Serve into individual bowls and eat while piping hot. You have now created the best carbonara recipe, and as you can see, it is extremely easy to do!
Chicken Carbonara Olive Garden
If you are a fan of chicken carbonara Olive Garden style, you will be pleased to hear that it is not difficult to adapt the recipe to recreate this amazing dish.
You can make this recipe as chicken carbonara, shrimp carbonara, or both – and whatever you do, you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious creaminess of this famous dish. However, it is a bit different from the basic recipe given above.
For chicken carbonara, you’ll need the following:
➔ Chicken tenders
➔ A red bell pepper
➔ Heavy cream
➔ Pepper and salt
As you can see, the ingredient list is quite a lot longer, but if you are happy to go for a somewhat more complicated recipe, you can enjoy a really special dish. The basic method will remain much the same, but you will start by rolling the chicken tenders in breadcrumbs and allowing them to dry.
You then need to fry the chicken in a skillet for up to seven minutes per side.
Cook your spaghetti, and then fry the bacon in the butter, and add the garlic and red pepper to the skillet. Put the Parmesan and heavy cream in with the bacon and pepper, and stir until they have mixed, and then add your cooked pasta to this sauce.
Finally, beat your eggs, add them to the pasta, and serve the whole dish up with the chicken.
Recipe For Shrimp Carbonara
If you want a recipe for shrimp carbonara, you will be pleased to learn that this should also be fairly straightforward. It’s a super fancy looking dish, making it fantastic for dinner parties – and it’s still extremely easy to achieve.
Shrimp tends to go well with frozen peas, so these are a great option to add. Other popular flavors include oregano and basil, and cream cheese instead of heavy cream. You should still include the bacon and the garlic, as these will add to the flavor.
Some fresh parsley is a great way to make this recipe for shrimp carbonara taste particularly good. You should cook your shrimp in a separate pan until they are fully pink, and then stir them into your spaghetti at the end.
Don’t try to cook the shrimp in the spaghetti water, but do use some water or some half and half to thin out the egg sauce when you make it. If you don’t have enough moisture, you may find that the dish ends up stodgy and heavy.
Recipe For Carbonara Pasta
You don’t have to use spaghetti in your recipe for carbonara pasta. You might decide that another shape of pasta suits you better, and that’s totally fine if so. Some people prefer fusilli or bowtie pasta because it can be easier to eat.
In general, however, a recipe for carbonara pasta will call for the long, thin pasta shapes, such as spaghetti or bucatini. You do not have to use these if you would rather not do so, but they are traditional for this kind of meal.
If you would rather use one of the short shapes, make sure you mix it thoroughly and combine all the ingredients. This is particularly true of shapes with deep contours, such as shells or fusilli. Take the time to thoroughly coat the pasta; it will be worth it!
Easy Carbonara Recipe
If you’re looking for a super easy carbonara recipe, you’re in luck, because this dish is not difficult. You can often whip up the main components of this dish within about ten minutes, for a total cooking time of around thirty minutes (including pasta boiling and meat cooking).
The trick to making an easy carbonara recipe taste amazing is to use good ingredients. Because this is a rich, almost decadent meal, you really don’t want to skimp on quality here. If you don’t choose good, high-quality meat and nice cheese, your dish simply will not taste as good.
Remember, you aren’t really depending on any fancy cooking techniques to transform the flavors here. You are simply putting together a selection of ingredients and they form a creamy sauce with minimal effort.
You can choose from quite a few different ingredient options (e.g. different kinds of meat, creamy alternatives such as half and half or cream cheese, etc.). This is great, but it’s crucial not to forget that the quality really matters. Don’t choose low grade stuff, or your meal will be underwhelming.
Carbonara With Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a great way to give this dish a boost, and it’s easy to make a vegetarian option like this or include the traditional meat if you prefer. The great thing about carbonara with mushrooms is that it’s still satisfyingly filling and chewy, but it does not need to contain any meat.
Mushroom and pasta make a great match, and carbonara with mushrooms is a truly delicious option. The mushrooms will lend robustness to the creamy flavor of the sauce, and the sauce will bring out all the delicate tastes of the mushroom.
Remember, carbonara is mostly made up of eggs, and you probably already know that mushrooms and eggs go together very well. The mushrooms will ensure that the dish is not bland or lacking in texture, without overwhelming the other tastes in it. Of course, you can still include meat if you prefer to!
To make carbonara with mushrooms, you can fry the mushrooms with butter and garlic for about five minutes, until they are golden and flavorful.
Carbonara Chicken Pasta
The Olive Garden chicken pasta might be good, but there’s a second way to make carbonara chicken pasta, and this involves incorporating the chicken into what you’re cooking instead of serving it alongside.
You should be able to do this almost as easily as the basic carbonara recipe. All you need to do is get a chicken breast and slice it into thin strips. These should then be added to the pan with garlic and pancetta, and lightly fried until they are fully cooked.
When the pasta is ready, stir it with the rest of the ingredients, and lightly toss the chicken throughout the sauce and pasta. Carbonara chicken pasta is not much trickier than standard carbonara pasta, but it can be a bit daunting for anyone who hasn’t cooked it before.
Traditional Carbonara Recipes
Sometimes, traditional carbonara recipes are your best option. After all, the best is often the first, and although many of the new takes on this recipe can be delicious, the original is mouth-watering too. It’s also very simple!
If you are going for one of the traditional carbonara recipes, you will not see parsley, pancetta, cream, onion, garlic, milk, bacon, or Parmigiano anywhere on the ingredients list. These are modern additions that came much later, and they don’t have any place in a traditional dish.
So, what is in the traditional option? There are variations, but it usually only contains around five ingredients, which are spaghetti, eggs, guanciale, Pecorino Romano Cheese, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Nothing else at all!
Part of the reason bacon became popular is that not everyone is familiar with guanciale, but it does change the taste of the dish, and if you want to create an authentic recipe, it is your best option. This is meat that comes from the cheek of the pig, whereas bacon is made from the belly or some other part that is not very fatty.
If you make carbonara with guanciale, you will find that you get a much richer, fattier, more satisfying dish. Bacon is good, but most of its goodness comes from the salt it brings to the meal, rather than the richness of the actual meat.
Try a carbonara with guanciale and leave out the other modern add-ons for an authentic and delicious meal that will impress everyone who tries it.
Carbonara Sauce Recipes
The carbonara sauce recipes should all be based on egg, unless you are deliberately using an egg-free variation. Egg is what makes this dish, but it is important to include it correctly, because you don’t want a strong, eggy flavor to come through.
There are a few key factors here. You need to be adding your raw egg to very hot pasta, because the pasta is what will be doing the cooking. The egg is not cooked separately, and obviously, you don’t want raw egg in your food – so piping hot spaghetti (or other pasta) is a must here.
The second important thing is that you toss the sauce very vigorously as you make it. The eggs will start to cook as soon as they come into contact with the pasta, but you want them to cook in very small quantities, and not in lumps. You don’t want to be finding pieces of what is essentially scrambled egg in your carbonara.
That means constant stirring while the egg is cooked so that you keep breaking it up. You can then mix in whatever other ingredients you fancy to create amazingly rich and creamy carbonara sauce recipes.
Carbonara is a super simple dish and makes a great change from the traditional red sauces that most people depend on. If you want to make something a little bit fancier, but you don’t want to spend hours slaving in the kitchen, it’s the perfect option.