Jamie Oliver Swears By These Carbonara Hacks

Carbonara couldn't look easier when we see professional chefs tackle the dish. While experts pull this pasta off flawlessly, the regular home cook faces an uphill battle. According to Bon Appétit, using room-temperature eggs, carefully managing heat, and proper whisking methods can all make or break this finicky dish. As we continue to hone our carbonara techniques, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver had some choice words of wisdom for anyone looking to tackle this pasta at home. In an interview with Mashed, Oliver broke down the best ways to approach carbonara.

"Carbonara is really only made up of four or five ingredients, but those ingredients need to be the best quality you can afford — including the pasta," Oliver said. "Barilla pasta is perfect for that all-important al dente texture." He went on to advise, "For spaghetti that doesn't stick together, wrap your hands around the pasta to form a bunch, twist, then release into the water so it fans around the cooking pot."

Once you have a handle on your pasta, the time has come to start getting your ingredients ready and cook the dish!

Getting the most out of your carbonara

Since the dish relies on few and simple ingredients, bringing out the biggest flavors yields the best results. Jamie Oliver told Mashed, "A nonna in Rome told me a little secret to great carbonara is to toast the black peppercorns — just for 30 seconds — in a dry pan, before grinding. It really amplifies their flavour."

Once you have cooked your pasta, the time has arrived to assemble all of your components. Managing heat at this stage proves crucial, but Oliver knows a secret that keeps your eggs from scrambling and results in the creamiest carbonara texture. "Pour a little of the cooled pasta water into the egg mixture before adding to the cooled pasta, then keep adding splashes of cooking water and stirring to achieve that silky-smooth texture — the cooking water is the secret ingredient," Oliver said.

When you want to take on this time-tested pasta dish, don't feel intimidated by the cooking process. With a little knowhow from Jamie Oliver, anyone can pull off the perfect carbonara that sends your taste buds straight to Italy. Give these techniques a shot, and you're guaranteed a great final dish every time.