A platter of carbonara on the table during the Noche Buena is a huge delight in any Filipino household. It’s become a staple Filipino recipe that is always present during feasts and big celebrations, especially around the holidays. That’s right, even though carbonara is a traditional Italian dish, the Philippines has adopted the original Italian recipe and turned the flavors that completely capture the Filipino palate.
Out of all the nationalities, I know Italians make the most noise when it comes to bastardizing their cuisine, so if you’re Italian, look away! I do love how vocal some purists of Italian cuisine are when it comes to making Italian foods the traditional way. They can be really strict with sticking to the recipe.
I highly recommend going through YouTube and watch videos of Italian chefs reacting to cooking channels making Italian dishes. I find the Italian chef’s reactions hilarious while also feeling sorry for the cooks.
I imagined that I probably would react the same if a non-Filipino chose to bastardize an authentic Filipino recipe. But I probably would be overreacting because so much of Filipino cuisine has evolved throughout years of cultural exchanges with other countries. Plus, there are plenty of other Filipino foods whose recipes originated in other countries and Filipino modified to make their own.
The carbonara isn’t the only Italian recipe that us Filipinos bastardized and made into our own. Sweet spaghetti with sausage slices and cheese anyone? The point is, we’re aware that this carbonara recipe isn’t a traditional Italian one. In essence, it’s an Italian recipe with a huge Filipino twist.
This type of carbonara recipe is so ingrained in Filipino cuisine that when mentioning carbonara pasta, most Filipinos would think of carbonara recipes like this one rather than the traditional Italian version of carbonara. So please look away Italians!
But before we get into this Filipino-style Carbonara recipe, I do want to dig dip into the origins of carbonara and basically all the research I could find about. We’re doing this because I find it interesting to find info about our everyday Filipino foods.
Okay…so apparently that’s easier said than done. Basically carbonara’s origin is still a mystery but there are plenty of theories out there. Unlike its other pasta counterparts, carbonara pasta, or classically known as spaghetti carbonara, is a fairly recent recipe. It has first popped up in Rome, Italy during the 1940s.
The most plausible theory that I came across is that the traditional recipe of carbonara (spaghetti pasta, bacon, egg, cheese, and black pepper), was made by one young Bolognese chef named Renato Gualandi. He was tasked to prepare lunch for a meeting between the English and American Army Division on the day of September 22, 1944.
The ingredients of the first-ever carbonara recipe were said to have been improvised by what’s available in the newly liberated Riccione. The ingredients that Gualandi had to make do with, by the way, are available military rations that the Americans use (hence the eggs and bacon).
And so the carbonara was born. Guandali became a cook for the military troops based in Rome for about a year and the fame of the carbonara spread.
Others theorized that because of its name carbonara (derived from the Italian word carbonaro or charcoal burner when translated), carbonara pasta is a dish that’s made by and for hard-working coal miners. Another one related to this theory is that name came from the dusting of black pepper over the creamy pasta making it resemble charcoal dust.
One interesting but quite out-there theory is that carbonara is dish that’s made by a secret society called the Carbonari or charcoalmen, a secret society that was active during the 19th century that strived to unify all of Italy.
Unlike carbonara’s true origins, there is one thing that everyone is certain of: carbonara is delicious. It’s fame spread to regions outside of Italy. It became a hit during the 1950s in America when the troops returned and carbonara’s fame quickly spread around the world from that point.
There found no info during my research on when and how carbonara arrived in the Philippines but I theorized that the Americans brought it to the Philippines. And carbonara because what we know of it as we see it today.
The Filipino-style carbonara recipe has layers of flavors with the milk, bacon, cheese, and the additional aromatic ingredients that are so common in Filipino recipes. It has a less sweet flavor compared to the Filipino-style spaghetti. Its creamy texture is also a hit with Filipinos.
So our carbonara recipe is a guaranteed favorite among adults and children. Plus, it’s perfect to serve during dinner parties or when you just have some guests around. We’ve gone all out with this carbonara recipe but you can the ingredients in most supermarkets in the city.
We’ve listed all the ingredients down below, some prep work is required for the ingredients of this recipe before the actual cooking begins. The cooking instructions for this carbonara recipe are listed down below as well.
But if you don’t want to read, it’s no problem. We also made a fun video so you can do all the steps with us. We’ve included all the necessary information in the video such as our list of ingredients and the step by step process on how to cook this recipe. Enjoy!
- 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