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In France, on adore Carbonara ! Everything is fine when you eat it in an Italian restaurant, but then, when you prepare it at home, it is true that you tend to use ingredients that are not in the original recipe, such as cream or bacon, and which afflict the Italians.

On the occasion of Carbonara Day (April 6), we went to meet Toni Muzithe executive chef of Eataly restaurants in Paris to share with you the real way to prepare Carbonara and his tips for making it successfully!

“As I am originally from Rome (Editor’s note: Carbonara is a typical dish of Rome and its region, Lazio)Carbonara speaks to me a lot,” the chef told us, before revealing his secrets to us.

Toni Muzi has been immersed in cooking since he was very young, growing up in the family restaurant on the outskirts of Rome. It was there that, watching and cooking with his grandparents and parents, he learned the art of preparing real Carbonara.

“The secret to successful Carbonara consists first of all in the choice of its ingredients: they must be of first quality. You have to choose jowlsthe famous Italian charcuterie made from pork cheek, extra fresh medium eggsof pecorino (ripened sheep cheese) romanowhich is drier and softer compared to other types of softer pecorino, and du parmesan 24 monthsideal for balancing the more pronounced taste of pecorino.

“For pasta, I really like short, hollow dried pasta, like rigatoni, mezze maniche, and mezzi paccheri rather than spaghetti” specifies the chef. With this type of pasta, you will find the guanciale in every bite since it fits into the hollow of each pasta. “It’s the surprise that makes this dish delicious in every bite.”

The other essential ingredients are jowlsthe pecorino romano and the black pepper, which awakens the taste buds, underlines the chef. “And if we don’t have guanciale, we don’t make Carbonara, because with pancetta or bacon we don’t get the same result!” he decides.

Ingredients for 4 persons) :

  • 400 g mezzi paccheri pasta (if not, use mezze maniche or rigatoni)
  • 150 g of guanciale
  • 60 g of pecorino romano DOP
  • 60 g of parmesan 24 months
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 g black pepper

Preparation :

  1. Grate pecorino and parmesan, possibly microplane grated.
  2. Cut finely the guanciale, reserve.
  3. Put them whole eggs and the egg yolks in a large salad bowl, add the pecorino, parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Beat the eggs using a fork, gradually incorporating the pecorino and parmesan, until you obtain a smooth cream.
  5. Carry a large volume ofwater to boilin a saucepan with high sides.
  6. In parallel, dry cook the guanciale in a pan over medium heat, gently, without burning it.
  7. Once the guanciale is good crispremove it with a slotted spoon and reserve it.
  8. Pour the melted fat that the guanciale released into the pan into the sauce of eggs and grated cheese, mix.
  9. As soon as the pasta water in the pan boils, salt it and dip the pasta in it. Stir for a few seconds with a large spoon to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Let them cook for the time indicated on the package.
  10. At the same time, put a small ladle of pasta cooking water in the pan where you cooked the guanciale, in order to degrease.
  11. Once cooked “al dente”, drain the pasta in a large colander and pour it into the pan, sauté it for a few seconds, just to infuse it with the aromas of the guanciale that are in the pan.
  12. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg and grated cheese sauce over the pasta.
  13. Out of the firemix to coat the pasta well with this condiment.
  14. Add the crispy guanciale on top, add a pinch of ground black pepper and mix. Sprinkle with a little mixture of parmesan and pecorino and serve the Carbonara immediately.

With this recipe you will have a Carbonara well balanced in flavors, which the chef has developed so that it can please all palates. The chef has succeeded in this milestone, given that his Carbonara is now the most ordered dish in his restaurants.

“But I also have a version of heart de la Carbonara” tells us the chef. “The one we’ve been making in my family’s restaurant for generations, with daily eggs from our henhouse, locally produced pecorino and guanciale.”
The difference in this more traditional recipe is that we only add pecorino, a little more guanciale, and a different dosage of eggs. It is stronger in taste, while by replacing part of the pecorino with parmesan, the taste of Carbonara is softer and balanced in the mouth.

Here are the doses to test the family version of the recipe:

  • 400 g mezzi paccheri pasta (if not, use mezze maniche or rigatoni)
  • 250 g of guanciale
  • 90 g of pecorino romano DOP râpé
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 g black pepper
  • Choosing pasta dry short and hollowlike “mezzi paccheri” or “mezze sleeves” or rigatoni.
  • Do not use egg pasta, like tagliatelle: that would make too many eggs between the pasta and the sauce.
  • Do not do without jowlswhich we do not replace with pancetta or bacon, and cut it finely.
  • Use Roman pecorinomatured and soft, and do not use Pecorino Sardo or Sicilian which have a softer paste, are less matured and have a more pronounced taste than Pecorino Romano.
  • Use parmesan aged 24 monthsmore balanced and soft compared to other refinements
  • Put some egg yolks in addition to whole eggs: this serves to strengthen the color of the carbonara sauce and helps to obtain a good bond between the sauce and the pasta.
  • Also add whole eggs – traditionally we count 1 egg per person – because the egg white is important for the creaminess of the sauce and to balance the recipe, without using too many egg yolks. In fact, a Carbonara prepared only with egg yolks would be too rich and too strong in flavor, so we avoid doing that, and we aim for a good balance between egg yolks and whole eggs.
  • Gently sweat the guanciale in the pan, so that it does not release the fat right away. He must release it gradually: in this way the guanciale remains crisp after cooking.
  • The melted fat that the guanciale released into the pan, which was poured into the egg carbonara sauce, is used to season the mixture, just like the pepper.
  • Add the egg carbonara sauce to the pasta while mixing out of the fireto prevent the eggs from cooking into an omelette.
  • Add the jowls on top last, so that it remains crispy after mixing.
  • Serve the Carbonara right awayhot, so that the sauce remains smooth.

There you have it, with the recipe and all the tips from Toni Muzi, you have all the keys to making your next Carbonara pasta at home. And if you want to taste the Carbonara from the chef on site, go to: Eataly Paris 37, rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie – 75004 Paris.


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