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Carbonara sauce is used in pasta dishes and is creamy, thick and somewhat meaty. When added to any kind of pasta, that dish is called carbonara pasta. The recipe for this winning sauce is surprisingly simple, which means anyone can learn how to make carbonara sauce at home. Although the authentic version is made using cream, others prefer to make it without.
What is Carbonara Sauce Made of?
There are two ingredients in carbonara sauce that remain unchanged: cheese and pancetta or prosciutto. Pancetta and prosciutto are similar to ham but are cured in different ways. They are both made from pork and can be used interchangeably. In addition to cheese and cured pork, other common ingredients include eggs and cream. Lactose intolerant people can learn how to make carbonara sauce without the cream.
Health Benefits of Carbonara Sauce
Because carbonara sauce contains a lot of dairy – cheese and cream – it provides plenty of calcium and magnesium. These nutrients are needed to maintain healthy teeth, as well as bone and muscle. Dairy is also rich in protein, phosphorus and B vitamins.
The second main ingredient, pancetta or prosciutto, are pork products. This means they have high levels of nutrients similar to dairy and iron. When the nutritional content of dairy and ham is combined, it can be beneficial for people with joint, bone and muscle conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. Carbonara sauce does, however, have high fat, some saturated and some unsaturated.
How to Make Carbonara Sauce with Dairy
For a great-tasting carbonara sauce, you will need:
- 1 pound cooked pasta
- 4 ounces of pancetta or prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add the pancetta or prosciutto and sauté until lightly browned.
Add hot, cooked pasta into the pot and mix well.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese. Pour this cheese mixture into the pot with pasta. Stir, making sure pasta is coated with the carbonara sauce. If it’s too thick, add a little water and mix until it reaches the right consistency. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.
How to Make Carbonara Sauce Tips and Tricks
While carbonara sauce can be prepared separately, it is better to make with pasta simultaneously. Hot pasta cooks the eggs even without heat from the stove plate. Make sure you combine ingredients off heat. When mixing cheese with eggs, stir vigorously to make sure that the mixture doesn’t produce lumps. Cook pasta the same time you make the sauce, otherwise it will be too cold to achieve the desired effect.
Carbonara sauce and pasta go hand in hand. When cooked properly, they make a delicious and nutritious combination. Learn how to cook carbonara sauce with pasta together for best results. Garnish the dish with your choice of herbs and spices for personalized flavor.