Carbonara may not be a Filipino dish, but it’s hugely popular in the Philippines nonetheless. This traditional Italian dish is commonly served in restaurants and increases in popularity during big celebrations like fiestas and especially during the holiday season. The traditional recipes for this creamy pasta dish use Italian ingredients like spaghetti or fettuccine pasta, eggs, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper.
You’ll notice that the traditional carbonara recipe uses quite simple ingredients and don’t make the recipe that complicated like most traditional Italian recipes. But since the pasta dish gained worldwide love and popularity, the recipe has been modified hundreds of times all over the world. The Philippines’ version of the carbonara recipe is much creamier because of the use of milk in the recipe.
Other commonly used ingredients for the Filipino-style carbonara that isn’t in the original are onion, garlic, cream, and parmesan cheese. The cheese used in the traditional Carbonara recipe is a choice between permigiano-reggiano and pecorino romano or a combination of both of these cheeses. Other countries around the world also have their own versions of Carbonara.
The carbonara dish in the Philippines has a creamier and milky flavor that’s complemented by the salty bits of mixed in the sauce. A lot of Filipinos turn to carbonara if they don’t like the sweet taste of the more popular spaghetti.
I myself prefer carbonara over spaghetti, any day of the year. The Filipino-style spaghetti is far meatier and has a richer sweet flavor. I like the more subtle flavors that carbonara brings to the plate and it doesn’t overwhelm the palate while still tasting delicious. Pair the carbonara with freshly made garlic bread and iced tea and you’re eating like a king.
Through my research for the best carbonara recipe, I’ve come across peculiar theories on its origin. You see, the original recipe of carbonara is still debated. What everyone seems to agree on is that the original carbonara recipe came from Rome, Italy. But how?
The most plausible theory that I stumbled upon is that the original carbonara recipe was a creation of one Bolognese chef named Renata Gualandi. He created the very first carbonara recipe on September 22, 1944. On that day, Guandali was tasked to prepare lunch for a meeting between the American and English Army Division in Rome.
Guandali served a pasta dish with what’s available from the American Army rations. So he put together spaghetti pasta, bacon, eggs, cheese, and black pepper, and the very first carbonara dish was born. Guandali was assigned to serve as a chef to the military troops in Rome for a year.
The American soldiers most likely brought the recipe back to the United States and the English back to the United Kingdom and that’s probably how carbonara’s widespread popularity started. Now there’s a different version of it everywhere in the world, much to the disdain of purist Italian chefs and purists of Italian cuisine.
The second theory that may be plausible but doesn’t have much evidence for is that the original carbonara recipe was created by coal miners. The name Carbonara is said to be derived from the word carbonaro which means charcoal burner when translated. The fact that the black pepper dusted over the white creamy pasta looks like charcoal dust adds to the theory.
The third theory – which is what I found to be the weirdest is that the carbonara created by a secret society called Carbonari or the charcoalmen when translated. They were active during the 19th century with a mission to unify all of Italy and the carbonara pasta was their signature recipe which should only be served and eaten by the secret society members.
But unlike the original carbonara recipe’s origins, one this is for sure: carbonara pasta is absolutely delicious. Filipinos love it and modified the recipe with ingredients that are commonly found in the Philippines.
It’s not the sweetest dish but is still sweet enough that sweet tooths would enjoy the flavor. So it’s a dish that’s enjoyed by all types of people of all ages.
So here’s my favorite carbonara recipe that I want to share with you. I think I nailed the balance of flavors with this carbonara recipe. All of the ingredients that I used and the step by step guide on its cooking process are all enumerated down below. This recipe would require some prep time by the ingredients. The cooking instructions are quite easy to follow. We’ll be doing a lot of stirring with this one.
Enjoy! And serve hot with or without garlic bread (I highly recommended to go with).
- 500 grams Fettuccine Pasta
- 1 cup Cooking Cream
- 1 cup Fresh Milk
- 1 cup Slice Mushroom
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 pc. Onion Diced
- 4 cloves of Diced Garlic
- 20 grams of Butter
- 1 pc. Egg Yolk
- 2 tbsp. Oil
- 1 tbsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Pepper
- 100 grams Diced Ham Fried
- 100 grams Diced Bacon Crispy Fried
- Chopped Parsley optional
- Water for pasta boiling.
- Put water in a pot with half tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of oil. Bring to boil
- When it's boiling add the fettuccine pasta and mix well using tongs to avoid getting sticky.
- Cooked for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente. Cool down with running water or ice water.
- Add oil to cooked pasta and mix. Set aside
- For carbonara sauce.
- Heat the pan with oil and butter.
- Add the garlic and saute for 20 seconds then add the diced onion and saute for another 20 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushroom and stir.
- Add sliced ham and stir.
- Add chopped parsley and stir.
- Add fresh milk and cream then mix well.
- Add the egg yolk and stir.
- Add parmesan cheese. Put in low heat to avoid breaking the creamy texture of the sauce.
- Keep stirring until the sauce is thicker .
- Serve and enjoy your Fettuccine Carbonara.
- Best with Garlic Bread