Carbonara | Basics with Babish

Hey folks, About a year ago,
a group of real-deal Italian chefs savagely critiqued some of the biggest
Carbonara videos on the Internet. And as you may remember,
my entry was not very well received. Since then I’ve dreamt of
nothing but Redemption. So today we’re gonna take a crack at
two different versions of Carbonara, a real-deal old-school Italian version, and a more modern less traditional
version that’s sure to piss em’ off! Let’s get down to basics. [Intro Music] All right. So before we can make Carbonara, we’ve got to make “Carbonara” which by definition, is made with
“Guanciale”, a type of cured pork jowl. It is very delicious but a little hard to find. So if you can’t find it, you can sub
with Pancetta if you’re in a pinch. I’ve got maybe a half-pound here that
I’m gonna cut into relatively sizable chunks and then set aside to make one of the essential
elements of any Carbonara dish: The Egg Slurry. Into a medium bowl or measuring cup goes 3 large eggs,
and 1 egg yolk for a little added richness. And then it’s time to finely grate and
measure out 4 ounces of cheese. Truly traditional “Carbonara” uses
100% Pecorino Romano Cheese, but is commonly balanced out
with Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you want it a little less sharp and
a little more nutty, I’m going for a 50/50 ratio. Into which I’m going to dump our beaten eggs. We’re then going to beat this whole affair
together with a fork until homogenous. The only other thing you’re gonna want to add is
a whole lot of freshly ground black pepper. We’re not adding any salt yet
because “Guanciale” can vary in saltiness, and we don’t want to oversalt our dish. Beat that together until well incorporated and
then it’s time to head over to the Stovetop, where we are introducing the “Guanciale” to a cold pan. We’re then gonna turn the heat to medium. This is gonna cook the “Guanciale” more slowly
and allow more of its fat to render out which in traditional “Carbonara” is a good thing. Once it is fully cooked but not too crispy, we’re gonna kill the heat
and put our pasta in the hot tub. The water is “Salato come il mare”,
or as salty as the sea. And we gotta keep it moving to
prevent it from sticking together. And then a cool trick to determine pasta’s doneness is to take out a strand and eat it to see if it’s done. Don’t throw it against the wall, you friggin’ weirdo. As you can see, our pork jowl has
almost entirely stopped bubbling. That’s exactly where we want it to be. And as soon as the pasta is done, we’re dumping it directly into
the saute pan with the “Guanciale”. Once all the pasta is being added
we’re gonna toss it around in the pan, ensuring that it is evenly
covered in all that “Guanciale” fat. And you wanna work quickly here. Because the only thing that’s going to
cook our egg slurry and make it smooth and creamy is the residual heat from the Pasta. So waste no time getting the egg and cheese
mixture in there and then agitate rigorously! This is going to help emulsify the sauce
and keep it creamy and prevent it from curdling. If you find that it’s not as smooth as you’d like,
you can add a little bit of pasta water, like a 1/4 cup. But ideally, it should look just like this. Now we’re gonna taste for seasoning,
(Mine needs a little bit of salt). Then you can optionally toss the pasta. This is gonna help aerate it a little bit,
get that sauce super creamy! And then, finally it’s time to plate up!! I like to use a carving fork to twirl the
pasta into a giant cylinder like this one for presentation on a long narrow plate. We are then of course going to
want to top this Hedonistic Helix with the remaining “Guanciale”
from the bottom of the pan along with any remnants of that creamy sauce! And there you have it folks! I’m going to say it one last time: “Carbonara”,
in its purest most authentic and traditional form. Unless of course I got something
wrong, in which case I’m in trouble. But at this point I’m gonna ask all Italians to leave
the room, because it’s time to make carbonara. This starts very much the same way
with Parmesan and Romano cheese grated into a bowl along with
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten together with a few healthy
twists of freshly ground black pepper. Now when most Americans make
Carbonara, they reach for the bacon. If you can’t find “Guanciale” or “Pancetta”
and you got to use bacon, just go for the thick-cut stuff. And likewise we’re gonna slice about
1/2 a pound of it into big ol’ chunks. Then likewise, we’re gonna start
these guys off in a cold pan, because we want to render out as much fat
as possible, but not for the same reason. You’ll also notice that I’m using a nonstick pan. And that’s because in the stainless, bacon can leave
a lot of fond on the bottom of the pot. Which for once we don’t want, as it might
make our final pasta look kind of dirty. Once the bacon is fully cooked and the fat
rendered out, we are going to strain it. Because this version of Carbonara
is going to have a much lighter sauce. We’re just going to strain off all but
about 2 tbsp worth of bacon fat, which we’re gonna leave in the pan. And then we’re gonna return it over medium-low heat to
add the most egregious ingredient of all: garlic. This is considered sacrilege
in the world of “Carbonara”, but I think it tastes really
really good, and so will you. We’re just sautéing for 1 minute
until fragrant before killing the heat. Next up, I see far too many people just
dump pasta out of the box in the water which inevitably leads to disaster. Give this a shot, where you dump
the pasta into the palm of your hand and then pull it out using
your hand, like a real gentleman. And as you can see, this time
I’m going with Bucatini. Next up, just like last time we’re adding
the pasta directly to the pan, but this time we’re gonna add about
1/3 of a cup of starchy pasta water which is gonna help make a cohesive sauce. Then we are adding the egg
and cheese mixture to the party. And if you find yourself in a pickle like this where
your pan is too small to toss the pasta, no biggie! Just dump it back into the emptied pasta pot. Just make sure that you keep it moving
because there’s a lot of residual heat in here and we don’t want to end up with
pasta and scrambled eggs. So just wildly agitate that around
and then it’s time to taste for seasoning! Add salt and pepper as necessary
and assess your sauce’s thickness. If it’s not quite thick enough, you can rescue it
with a little bit of finely-grated Parmesan. Just add maybe another 1/4 oz
or so and mix rigorously. And now it’s time to plate up!! And one thing you’ll notice about this Carbonara is that the sauce is much lighter
because it has a lot less fat. It also stays creamier longer and
won’t congeal as quickly as “Carbonara”. And the Bucatini, while a little bit difficult to
get on one’s fork, is dense and chewy and lovely. Whichever version of Carbonara
you decide to make for yourself, I hope this has shown you how easy it can be,
so long as you follow a few simple tricks! Now go out there, get some pasta,
and start rolling your R’s.

100 comments on “Carbonara | Basics with Babish”

  1. Binging with Babish says:

    According to my 23andMe, I'm 10.7% Italian, so…pretty much an expert here.

  2. John Maciver says:

    If you’re not using eggs in carbonara, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. Blade Kult says:

    tries to redeem himself, uses cheap noodles…

  4. h p says:

    0:50 missed opportunities for “pinch”etta

  5. Maverick 1926 says:

    Babish you want to be a chef but as soon as real chef's put you back In your spot you act all butthurt. Your level of cuisine is very basic and you are cooking all your dishes for the first time in the video. You are a failed man that tried to save his career with cooking in your late 40's. You are not a real chef and your skills in the kitchen would be considered just below average in Italy. 🇮🇹

  6. Mark Gonzalez says:

    Babish please make Sweetbread ala Gusteau Ratatouille

  7. Joe1887 says:

    4:12 Italian Chefs: Look how they massacred my boy!

  8. Cavare Envius says:

    So classic Cabonara is just some Spagetti with some Bacon and scrabbled Eggs? I prefer the fake one then with the thick white souce. (yeah, I regret that I wrote “white souce)

  9. Ashtran says:

    … I make carbonara with onions and bacon in a pan, I flambe the ingredients with brandy then add cream and when it's a bit more dense I add the pasta.

  10. Alex Rogers says:

    I've made this a lot of times, but since I can't find guanciale or pancetta I use regular bacon. And for the cheese, I also don't have access to pecorino so I use parmesan. I call it a pool people carbonara. Still tastes amazing. 😀

  11. Baguio Byben says:

    I only know 2 types of carbonara, a good one and a bad one. Tbh, It doesn't even matter if it's even called carbonara as long as it tastes good. For me having good tasting food matters more than following a pretentious standard that doesn't make the food taste any better. If someone says " oh, this isn't authentic carbonara because of this and that or whatever", then it isn't. NO BIG DEAL. We're not Italians anyway.

  12. No thank you, Sir says:

    As a born and raised Italian, i'm just happy you didn't put bone in it

  13. Thatcher Daniels says:

    lets get down to basics to defeat the hun-ger

  14. Jomarcenter Media says:

    Filipino style carbonara warrant a cream

  15. Lindsay Cowan says:

    I tried this recipe, really shouldn’t have. Clearly I got my geography wrong and went for more of a Dead Sea vibe.

  16. Rishi Rana says:

    any idea for a sub to bacon for vegetarians?

  17. Bill Wiltfong says:

    I'll keep my R straight, thanks. I don't go for those ethnic versions of words.

  18. Francesco Calò says:

    For the first part of the video you create a good carbonara, but in the second part…
    Don't use butatini and bacon for the next time.

  19. Francesco Nicoló says:

    Lol you made a correction video and then you put garlic. Rip

  20. Maciej Łatosz says:

    How much pasta do you use in those dishes?

  21. Ginger Cakes by Sarah says:

    Super easy and delish! Thanks for sharing

  22. Trent Kozelek says:

    The second carbonara isn't that far off… what most Italian chefs have a problem with is adding any spice or herb, and most importantly butter or cream. You added garlic, but that would be considered a scolding "fine" by most.

  23. n a t a l i e says:

    that was a lot of “a little bit of salt”

  24. Stephan Muller says:

    "wildly agitate" – dude, get your terminology straight man. It's called "wangjangle", look it up

  25. sim guinto says:

    This is legit!!

  26. Eyad87 says:

    I use turkey bacon as a substitute. Italians won’t approve lol

  27. Silot says:


  28. Starlord 0626 says:

    Get your garlic away from that pan RIGHT NOW

  29. behemuth says:

    Wait, not doing the cream version for the non traditional one?
    The recipe i've ended up with after making it for years is:
    Sweat down shallot onion (using butter, sod off italian oil mafia, your grease sucks) until golden. add cream and some pepper (i like using provance for some herbalness) and let it thicken over low heat. (remove from heat before it thickens too much)
    Boil pasta (like in video, salty as the sea) and mix whole eggs (using only the yolk makes the dish taste too eggy) and grate cheese seperately. once pasta is cooked, strain it (but keep some liquid) and add to a bowl. Quickly add a lob of butter (actual butter, cretins) and stir as it melts. Add the beaten eggs and toss around. Then add the grated cheese (use whatever blend you like) and toss.
    Finally, add the shallot and cream mixture and toss again. this ensures the eggs get cooked. If your sauce is too thick or you just like it more saucey, add some of the cooking liquid. Finally, season to taste. If you're confident, season the cream sauce while it reduces.

    I use bacon (since i'm not made out of money and our stores suck for variety) which i cook seperately and sprinkle as needed. If you want the bacony flavor, just dump it all in and toss.

    For 3 people (i eat alot i guess)
    350g of spagetthi
    3 whole large eggs
    150-200g of grated cheese (pick the blend or type you like the most, i'm not your mom)
    150-200g of meat (use what you like)
    3dl of cream (sod off, use metric you animals)
    (a couple of tablespoons (or more) of cooking liquid)
    1-2 tablespoons of butter
    100g of finely diced shallot onions. (like, 4-5 depending on size)
    pepper, salt (and provance herb-mix)

    finally, for proper degeneracy (and to stick it to the italian oil mafia) you can add green peas if you want, it's good.

  30. Babak says:

    I'm here from the Italian channel, and I couldn't stop laughing loudly in the "cries in Italian" scene 😂

  31. THE REAL URSULO says:

    Finalmente un americano che fa la carbonara come si deve

  32. GAMEOVER says:

    Make quiche

  33. Ben Henderson says:

    RM has joined the chat

  34. Amradye says:

    Anyone else cook stuff while pausing the video guide between steps? When he said, “…or throw it against the wall, you freakin’ weirdo,” I almost died laughing bc I had about three pieces around my kitchen. 😂

  35. rockmuschel says:

    Oh, I'm glad to know I actually use the right method. But I unfortunately can't get any pecorino and guanciale locally 🙁

  36. Nick A says:

    Your fake Italian accent makes me think of Inglorious Bastards

  37. Régis Eduardo says:

    I loved this. And please put more garlic just to see the italians complaining as if it was WW3 in the comment section. Hahahaha

  38. Alessandro Z. says:

    JFK was killed because he put garlic and cream on his carbonara

  39. Daniel Manriquez says:

    Have you ever put the pasta in with the twist and release method? Much more visually satisfying than just dropping it in

  40. AnimeCrusader says:

    If this video has taught me anything it's that if I can't make someone like me then I should make my very existence offensive to them

  41. Sam Sherman says:

    Fuck that looks good

  42. mario vergara says:

    Sb mocking italian chefs. Beautiful. You won a sub dude

  43. Silly Willy says:

    Who gives a fuck what people say, im just tryna eat to survive lol

  44. devolutionone * says:

    I am drooling in my mouth right now..

  45. Andrew Byers says:

    You forgot the onions and mushrooms!

    Carbonara alla Domino's: Jarred Alfredo sauce, bacon, mushrooms, onions, top with pizza cheese and bake.

  46. Cristagolem says:

    Time to raid like is 1855

  47. Emil Skotner says:

    Bro I want some digg food bro

  48. Nonno says:

    I literally cried when he used garlic, just like he predicted. I'm predictable.

  49. Silvia Gentili says:


  50. the Soul squad says:

    I watched this today in school not on my phone my teacher put it on for us so I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to learn more about spageti

  51. Beinerth Chitiva Machado says:

    This is my favorite Dish of All-Time!

  52. DiscoDude752 says:

    Use your hand like a gentlemen? 😏😏

  53. Roberto U. says:

    4:13 yes, I cried!

  54. Bruce Hua says:

    So….. Bacon and Garlic and all of a sudden you've committed a culinary war crime?

    For a culture that 'borrowed' both pasta and tomatoes from others, they do get a little bit weird about trying new things.

  55. Itshenry 2006 says:

    Don’t throw it to the wall? But that’s how you chop things

    I really do suck at cooking

  56. Matthew Williams says:

    Binging with Babish, so my grandfather is from Naples and my grandmother is from Galabria… American Classical Culinary Arts was taken from Parisian tradition, you made your Carbonara was fine it was just done with that influence, like he said it's a heavy dish how you prepared it, but French dishes are heavy dishes in small portion, Italian dishes typically are lighter because we get are proteins from the sea and we have less starchy vegitables, in your first video you made a wonderful French pasta influenced by Carbonara, you did good 👍

  57. CountJuggles says:


  58. Cason Scarce says:

    I have watched this multiple times already and will probably watch it several more.

  59. David Welsh says:

    The truth is that "cuisine purists" are some of the worst "purists" out there. They are snobs who have no care for if you need to modify a recipe for someone watching their health (especially food allergies). Vegans are slightly worse.. but at least they care about someone's allergies.

  60. Avi T. says:

    I saute my guancale or (usually, for convenience) pancetta with about 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped finely, and let it caramelize in that porky goodness. It adds a bite and a sweetness to the dish that balances the pure saltiness of the pork and cheese.

    I'll go now because the entire nation of Italy and its worldwide diaspora are probably after my blood for this.

  61. Matthew Lehman says:

    what kind of flatware do you use??

  62. Diamanté Lomax says:

    I'll be dammed if someone is gonna tell me how my food should taste unless they giving money to pay for said food

  63. Thirst Fast says:

    Try this my friend: When putting your pasta into water from a box, grab it firmly with your thumb and forefinger around the middle of the noodles. Counter-rotate it with your other hand like you're giving it the gentlest, though horribly-named "Indian Burn", so the noodles don't break, but the closer you get the better. Now instead of a cylinder of pasta you should have something that flares out toward either end. Set gently in your water with your hand perpendicular to the water's surface, and let go. You should now have the most satisfying spiral of pasta in your pot possible. ffs I can't explain what I mean. maybe I'll make a video……

  64. Cook says:

    Every single time an Italian complains about how the rest of the world interprets their dishes, I mentally make a masturbatory gesture in my mind and involuntarily roll my eyes. I'm sure the fucking Chinese are real up in arms about whatever the fuck Italians did to the noodle /s. Real talk, if you're so obsessed with your heritage that you take umbrage with how other people try to make your culture's dishes with the ingredients they have, you're a real small person.

  65. Joel Auvinen says:

    I very much prefer carbonara over carbonara, anyday. But that's just me.

  66. sexntuna says:

    The only real difference between the two versions is garlic. When I make a non-traditional carbonara I tend to experiment with mushrooms, parsley, and a little white wine for the sauce

  67. JustPlayForFun says:

    For the italian version you did only a few little mistakes,the first one was with the eggs. You don't use eggs white in carbonara,apart from that,if your pasta needs more saltiness just add more pecorino once you pust pasta in your plate,do not add salt on cooked pasta. I suppose you did alright anyway,most non-italian "chefs" would not come as close as you did

  68. Yeah man J P says:

    Really embarrassing how he misspelled car banana

  69. Dolphinboi says:

    If tossed salad and scrambled eggs is okay, then so is pasta and eggs.

  70. Liz Calame says:

    Made the bastardized version for the hubby and son, and it was a hit! Thanks Babish!

  71. Simply Garza says:

    Just made this tonight for my one year anniversary. (Just the American version) We loved it. Gotta say I'm sorry Italians, but that garlic really did something magical with the bacon and the sauce. Don't worry, I plan to make the traditional dish, as well. I've made several of your recreated recipes on here and from your book. All of which turned out fantastic, and are really improving my confidence in the kitchen

  72. Mythnugget Productions says:

    I made the less traditional version with bacon , eggs, and parm and it was sooooo good, a winner that my family loved!

  73. jaden sipes says:

    hey does anyone know how many this serves? i want to make it for my family in a few nights

  74. MrSoundSeeker says:

    Oh Babish…it was suppose to be a redemption and you couldn't find guanciale. Maaaan, more effort, please. By the way, got a a tip for you. A pan is hot and if you toss eggs and cheese mixture into a piping hot pan with pasta and guanciale you could end up with curds. The tip is: take a bowl, put the eggs and cheese mix into it and then put the hot pasta and guanciale (from the pan) to the bowl. Stir it and tada! By doing so you are using only the temperature of the pasta and guanciale to cook the eggs (you are eliminating the hot pan bottom). Makes the sauce creamy without the risk of overheating the eggs.

  75. Bill Kong says:

    Everyone bastardizes everyone else’s food. Ever had pizza in China? Not even close.
    It’s fine. Make it. As long as you don’t try to represent your variation as the real thing.

  76. Erica Fumagalli says:

    you should make the SaLad from Spongebob. Love you Babish.

  77. Fabio Dragoni says:

    I'm Italian and can't stand Italians who criticize other people's recipes. Everyone is free to prepare carbonara as he wishes.
    Let's try new ideas ffs!

  78. Joseph Lau says:

    best and most satisfying way to eat noodles is with chopsticks

  79. Davide Ori says:

    I am Italian and I watched it through the end, sorry ;P I have to say that it makes perfectly sense to add some garlic to the American bacon variation. Guanciale (at least the Latium version) is already flavored with garlic which is put in before the aging phase. I might have problems with the amount you put in, but I see also from other videos of you that you really love garlic, so totally approved. With caveats, it is possible to do variations.

  80. Jakub Jernas says:

    Some people think Carbonara has sour cream in it idk why but it's funny xd

  81. zee says:

    serious questions: i dont eat red meat of any sorts, what can i replace the bacon with?

  82. A_ Lundgaard says:

    italian food is awesome when not made by italians.

  83. Gabriel says:

    Okay so how can we trust that THIS is the most traditional version of carbonara? You told us that before and apparently were wrong 👀 Who taught you this totally perfect OG recipe? (I say this with love)

  84. Franklin Ruiz says:

    Love this!

  85. コロムビアオタコン says:

    Carbonara? Nahhh

  86. CoreyJay says:

    The second one wasn't even that different. If you really want to make an Americanized carbonara, do it like Domino's. Alfredo sauce, chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and onions. That will make the Italians cringe like they never have before

  87. Andrea De Nichilo says:

    Did che really seasoned pasta with salt after plating?

  88. Massimo Caligiana says:

    You’re funny

  89. Brianna Hirst says:

    My husband loved it. We used a fresh black pepper fettuccine from Aldis, and smoked pancetta from our local Italian specialty market. Right before they closed after 114 years in business. 🙁

  90. Pete says:

    5:16 Plate up? Th-that's a bowl sir.

  91. Vanessa Haugen says:

    either way, this looks delicious!

  92. Mi Ti Zu says:

    I only came here to say, I am so sick of seeing ads for this.

  93. OCT POD says:

    I've made the original recipe and its meh bland and I know garlic is forbidden but it increases the flavor and it helps a lot.

  94. Kat LaBash says:

    Good Lord, I love watching you cook.

  95. Alistair Blaire says:

    The traditional one looks so good. I'm going to ask the Italian market in town if they have guanciale.

  96. Keaton M. says:

    Mine came out great!!!!!

  97. TheHolydruid says:

    I add cream to my carbonara like a true savage. It's good tho.

  98. ASZNEE says:


  99. LynksysV says:

    you still made authentic carbonara wrong……

  100. donnie darko says:

    “My Nona would be turning in her grave”
    Your Nona is dead mate, go away.

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