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  • Writer's pictureTreva Gambs

Treva's Signature Carbonara: Simplicity, Freshness, Springtime Perfection

Updated: May 18


Carbonara with Fresh Bucatini Pasta


Carbonara with Fresh Bucatini Pasta Ingredients

Carbonara – A Symphony of Italian Flavors

Creamy, savory, surprisingly simple – Carbonara might just be the ultimate Italian comfort food. At Gamberetti's, we celebrate the fresh flavors of spring with our rendition of this classic dish. Join Treva Gambs, owner and executive chef, as she guides you through making her signature Carbonara with fresh bucatini pasta.


The Art of Simplicity: What is Carbonara?

Carbonara's origins are shrouded in a bit of mystery, with stories ranging from post-World War II Italian resourcefulness to the charcoal burners (carbonari) who inspired its name. But what's undeniable is its place as a beloved culinary icon.


At its core, Carbonara is a celebration of a few key ingredients:

  • Guanciale: Cured pork jowl, adding rich, salty depth of flavor (pancetta or bacon are common substitutes).

  • Eggs: The key to the luscious, creamy sauce.

  • Pecorino Romano: Salty, sharp, and essential to the classic flavor profile.

  • Fresh Bucatini: Long, hollow pasta that perfectly captures the sauce.

  • Black Pepper: A generous amount, freshly ground for the perfect touch of spice.


Carbonara with Fresh Bucatini Pasta


Ingredient Spotlight: Quality Matters

With such a simple dish, the quality of your ingredients makes a huge difference. Here's what to look for:

  • Guanciale: Seek out authentic guanciale if possible. Its unique flavor sets it apart from substitutes. Note that different brands of guanciale can have varying levels of fat and sodium.

  • Eggs: Farm-fresh eggs have vibrant yolks, contributing to a richer sauce.

  • Pecorino Romano: Look for a cheese with a bold, salty flavor profile. Be aware of varying salt content between different brands of Pecorino Romano.

  • Fresh Bucatini: Homemade is best, but store-bought dried bucatini is a great option.


Gamberetti's Signature Carbonara Recipe

We've combined the best techniques and classic flavors from trusted sources to create our ultimate Carbonara recipe. Follow these steps and Treva's video guidance for a taste of Italy in your own kitchen!


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bucatini pasta (or spaghetti, fettuccine)

  • 16 ounces guanciale (or pancetta, or good-quality bacon)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (if needed, depending on the fat rendered from the guanciale)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 4 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)

  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 oz Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 cup Peas



Instructions:

  1. Prep and Cook Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

  2. Cook the Guanciale: While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil (if needed) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook until crispy and the fat has rendered.

  3. Add garlic: Cook on a medium heat until tender.

  4. Add the Heavy Cream: Stir in and simmer

  5. Make the Egg Mixture: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, Pecorino Romano, and black pepper until smooth and creamy.

  6. Temper the Eggs: Remove the skillet with the guanciale from the heat. Gradually add some of the hot pasta water to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

  7. Add Fresh Peas: Add in the peas at the end as they only need to come up to temp and do not need to cook.

  8. Combine and Finish: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with a splash more of the reserved pasta water. Return to low heat, then slowly pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta (avoid scrambling!).

  9. Serve and Enjoy: Remove from heat immediately. Season to taste with additional salt (if needed) and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve with a final sprinkle of Pecorino Romano.


Treva's Kitchen: Step-by-Step Carbonara


Key Technique: Tempering the Eggs The trickiest part of Carbonara is tempering the eggs to create a creamy sauce without any scrambling. Treva's technique ensures perfect results every time:

  1. Whisk well: Whisk the eggs with Pecorino Romano in a bowl, creating a smooth mixture.

  2. Off-heat is key: Ensure the heat is off under the pan with the cooked guanciale before adding pasta and reserved pasta water.

  3. Slow and steady: Gradually stream the egg mixture into the pan, stirring constantly to avoid scrambling.




The Perfect Bite

Plates your Carbonara with a touch of elegance, garnishing with fresh parsley and a generous dusting of freshly cracked black pepper. The aroma is intoxicating, and the first bite is pure magic. The fresh bucatini strands are coated in a silky sauce, with bursts of flavor from the guanciale and the salty tang of Pecorino Romano.


Wine Pairing

The richness of Carbonara pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine. I highly recommend a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Sparkling wine from Gamberetti's wine list to perfectly complement the dish. For red wine lovers, try a classic Sangiovese as it pairs really well with the guanciale in the pasta.


Variations and Substitutions

While we love the classic Carbonara, there's room for a bit of creativity:

  • Pancetta or Bacon: While not as authentic as guanciale, these readily available alternatives still create a delicious dish.

  • Pasta Choices: Spaghetti or fettuccine also work well with Carbonara.

  • Flavor Twists: A touch of fresh chili flakes adds a subtle kick, or try a sprinkle of lemon zest for a burst of brightness.


Full Video


Your Carbonara Journey Begins

Ready to experience this taste of Italy?

  • Taste Treva's: Come to Gamberetti's and try the real deal!

  • Carbonara at Home: You can purchase fresh house made bucatini from Gamberetti's.

Shopping List (For 4 Servings):

  • 1 pound bucatini pasta (or spaghetti, fettuccine)

  • 16 ounces guanciale (or pancetta, or good-quality bacon)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (if needed, depending on the fat rendered from the guanciale)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 4 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 oz heavy whipping cream

  • 1 cup Fresh or defrosted frozen peas

  • 1 clove garlic

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