Giada De Laurentiis Has Captivated TikTok With Her Creamy Carbonara Recipe

There are some dishes that you can throw just about anything into — think vegetable soup — and people will be okay with it. No real method, no specific list of ingredients, just casual home cooking. Then there are the dishes that can cause fights if you do something wrong. Just think about how Gordon Ramsay cries about beef Wellington when people don't cook it the way he thinks they should.

You may have also heard someone other than Gordon Ramsay say that there's only one right way to make several iconic Italian pasta dishes, whether it's aglio e olio, cacio e pepe, or – you guessed it – pasta carbonara. We've seen people make all sorts of versions of the latter, adding peas and other veggies, sometimes including cream or butter, or even adding kimchi to the carbonara recipe. But if you're looking for a more classic take, one that might not immediately make a Roman blink an eye if they saw you cooking it, Giada De Laurentiis has you covered. She just shared a video on TikTok demonstrating how she makes "classic carbonara" at home (with one small twist), and you'd better believe it doesn't include cream, butter, or anything green. The video has more than 66,000 likes and more than 1 million views so far, so the Italian-American food star must be doing something right. 

The secret to Giada De Laurentiis' carbonara

One of the potentially scary things about making carbonara so is that it calls for raw eggs to be added to your hot pasta, which can be scary. If the pan is too hot, the eggs can curdle, leaving you with scrambled egg pasta instead of creamy carbonara. To help prevent this, Giada De Laurentiis whisks her eggs and Parmesan together in a bowl first (via TikTok). Then, when the pasta is done cooking, she tempers the egg mixture by whisking in a small amount of hot pasta water, then adds the eggs, Parm, and pasta water mixture back to the pan with the pasta and the bacon, all while stirring constantly so the water, bacon fat, eggs, and cheese combine into a creamy emulsified sauce.

Purists might raise their eyebrows at the use of bacon. As Serious Eats points out, traditional carbonara is made with guanciale, a type of cured Italian salumi made from pork jowl. Bacon is made from pork belly and is usually smoked, and using it isn't traditional. But apparently, it is an okay substitute — at least, according to De Laurentiis. The star's other twist on the recipe is literal. She uses a spiral pasta in her carbonara instead of spaghetti. The result? An easy, classic carbonara recipe — with a twist — that has De Laurentiis' approval. And while some viewers disapproved, others declared that the dish looked "amazing," "awesome," or great.