What's Cooking? The Secrets of a Real

Read more and watch the episode of "Cooking with the Professor" with guest chef Professor Marco Panza, Professor of History and Philosophy of mathematics at Chapman University, and discerner of fake carbonara.

"Marco Panza (Professor of History and Philosophy of mathematics at Chapman University) shows how to cook a real "carbonara". Together with his wife, Annalisa Coliva (Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at UCI), he reveals the secrets for a perfect "carbonara".

Real "carbonara" is never made with cream. Carbonara sauce is just a mix of eggs, pecorino romano (and parmesan cheese), and a bit of olive oil. Originally from Rome and the region of Lazio, "carbonara" has become famous world-wide. Unfortunately, while traveling across the globe, the creamy consistency of this sauce has been obtained by adding cream (and sometimes even milk or food starch), and by reducing the number of eggs needed to make it. While real "carbonara" looks yellow and black, since it contains a lot of pepper, the carbonara sauce you can find in most places outside of Italy is white and quite tasteless.

The very name of this world-renown sauce comes from the Italian word "carbone", which means "charcoal". In fact, "carbonara" contains a lot of black pepper, which gives it its distinctive look and taste.While traditional "carbonara" is made with guanciale (pork cheeck), it is possible to substitute it with bacon, as long as it is fat and thick, and can be diced à la minute.  Pasta alla carbonara can be made with spaghetti or rigatoni, as is done in this video.

The secrets for a perfect "pasta al dente" are also revealed in the demo of this recipe. Enjoy a real carbonara and learn how to discern it from fake ones!"