When I think of pasta carbonara, I think of my partner, Sean.
Specifically, I think of him sitting at Barbudo, a lovely Italian restaurant located in Manhattan’s West Village, about 2 years ago. In this memory, Sean is across from me, happily twirling a forkful of spaghetti up to his mouth and saying “this might be the best carbonara I’ve ever had” then prefacing his offer for a taste with “but you won’t like it – you’ll say it’s too peppery”.
Sean loves pasta carbonara. It’s one of those dishes that if it’s on a menu, he has to order it. Something about the rich, eggy sauce and fat cubes of salted pork just speaks to him. And indeed, that healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper IS a big component of carbonara, which relies on the sharp, bitter heat of the peppercorns to help mellow out its richness. Black pepper has never been a flavor that I independently seek out, though I appreciate the fact that it is a requisite element of any carbonara worth its salt. So today being Sean’s birthday, it only makes sense to put out a damn good recipe for carbonara.
Unlike most posts, today I have only one offering: a single excellent recipe for the perfect carbonara. A BA’s Best recipe of course, with some adaptations on my own part around pasta choice and proportions. Carbonara is a simple, deeply indulgent dish that doesn’t do well with much tweaking around or tomfoolery. Sometimes people feel that it is necessary to do things like put cream or different cheeses in carbonara and that is very shameful behaviour that should be curtailed.
Oh and by the way, Sean was right; I didn’t love the carbonara at Barbudo. It was too peppery.
Click the picture below for recipe link.