When Aziz Ansari’s character Dev on Master of None mastered a perfect Spaghetti Carbonara, our collective mouths watered for just one bite. A good plate of pasta is a something most of us are familiar with. A great plate of pasta is life-changing. The difference between a hand-kneaded pasta dough and a dried, store-bought pasta is akin to the difference between hearing Beethoven play live in his heyday compared to having to sit through a second-grade class recital in a gym with a busted air-conditioner. And that’s before we even get to what sauce is dressing that pasta.
Our old friend Binging with Babish, Andrew Rea, tackled Dev’s Carbonara from Master of None this week to help us all make this stellar dish. Carbonara is one of those deceptively simple plates of pasta. It’s cured fatty pork (usually Guanciale) with pasta that’s coated in an egg and cheese mix which creates a velvety sauce when you add a little of that pasta water. No cream is ever needed. The difficulty comes in the technique and timing to make sure you don’t scramble the eggs when they hit the heat or let everything congeal by waiting too long to serve.