Macaroni carbonara is a pasta based dish, in which the boiled and drained macaroni pasta is combined or served topped with the carbonara sauce. The main ingredients of the sauce are beaten eggs, salt, Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. Traditionally, crispy fried pancetta or bacon is combined with this sauce or directly tossed with the macaroni before serving.
Traditional Macaroni Carbonara Recipe Overview
Ingredients: Dried macaroni pasta, butter, chopped pancetta, salt, freshly ground pepper, crushed garlic, lightly beaten eggs and grated parmesan cheese.
Preparation Method: The pasta is cooked in salted, boiling water until tender and drained. The pancetta and garlic are stir fried in the butter until the pancetta turns crisp. The hot pancetta is drained and tossed with the egg, pancetta and garlic mixture, parmesan and salt and pepper seasoning. The carbonara sauce so prepared is then either served over the freshly cooked and steaming hot macaroni or combined with it in the cooking pan over some heat and served.
Variations in Macaroni Carbonara Recipe
Any traditional pasta alla carbonara uses pancetta for meat while bacon and prosciutto follow close behind. Thus, even this version of the carbonara recipe using macaroni pasta can be made with the latter versions of pork meat as mentioned. To add a creamier touch to the sauce, double or heavy cream, evaporated milk and/or cream cheese may be added. Some modern recipes even call for the addition of wine to enrich the flavor of the dish. The meat may be varied from pork to chicken to turkey and rarely, lamb.
Seafood macaroni carbonara is also made with one or more types of seafood. Vegetarian versions are generally made with mushrooms and/or tofu and one or more vegetables, especially carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, summer squash, garlic, onion, sundried tomatoes and peas. The dish can be lent a spicy touch with paprika or red pepper flakes, nutmeg, cinnamon and assorted dried herbs like oregano, rosemary etc.
Serving Macaroni Carbonara
This carbonara dish is traditionally served immediately after preparation, while it is still steaming hot. Being very filling, it is mostly preferred as the main dish for lunch or dinner, often with side dish accompaniments which vary. The most common garnishes for macaroni carbonara involve grated Parmesan cheese and fresh or dried parsley. Sometimes, grated Pecorino is used in place of the Parmesan and the herb garnish may rarely substitute parsley with basil.