So I was looking for a new recipe for pasta alla carbonara, a common dish from central Italy where beaten eggs are whisked into freshly cooked pasta to create a sauce right before serving, and a little Googling came up with this recipe from David Leite, which I made tonight. It was quick, easy, authentic (no extra ingredients – more on that in a moment), and delicious. The only changes I made were to use 3 eggs without the extra yolk, and to make the sauce in the pasta pot rather than the skillet; stirring a pound of cooked pasta in a skillet is treacherous, and one thing you need to do to keep the eggs from scrambling is to keep the pasta moving. That’s just easier to do in a big pot than in a skillet, especially one with flared sides.
One other hit on page one of my Google results was this recipe by the Big Giant Head Girl, Giada de Laurentiis. Check the fourth ingredient: 2.5 cups of whipping cream. Say it with me, folks: There is no cream in carbonara sauce. It is creamy, but contains no cream. So Giada isn’t authentic, but we knew that already from the first time we heard her say spa-ghee-tee or open a jar of store-bought sauce. What’s worse is how incredibly unhealthy she’s made this dish: One pound of pasta plus one pound of chicken should mean six to eight servings, and by my calculations, her Chicken Carbonara has 35 to 40 grams of fat per serving (at six servings), two-thirds of which came from the whipping cream she added because she’s lazy. At least Raechel Ray can cook a little, but what the heck does Giada have swimming around in that enormous head of hers?