Misunderstanding about cheese
Many people make spaghetti carbonara with parmesan cheese. A delicious Italian cheese known for its characterful taste. Because of these characteristics, many people choose to use this cheese for spaghetti carbonara. But did you know that in Italy they don’t use this cheese at all for this dish?
The really classic spaghetti carbonara is made with pecorino romano. A cheese you’ve probably never heard of.
In Italy they use pecorino romano. Maybe you’ve never heard of the type of cheese. This cheese looks a bit like parmesan in appearance. But the taste is really different.
Firstly, because parmesan cheese is made from cow’s milk. Pecorino romano is only made with sheep’s milk. Below we explain more about the special taste of this cheese.
The taste of Pecorino Romano
The taste can best be described as spicy, salty and dry. During the preparation of the cheese, it is washed in sea water. That’s where the salty taste mainly comes from. Because the cheese is hard, you can grate it very well.
But why choose to use this cheese in spaghetti carbonara? To answer this question we first have to tell you where spaghetti carbonara comes from today.
Pecorino and spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara originated in the region of Rome. Or rather, in the Lazio region. Sheep graze here in the mountains from time immemorial. Cheese was made from the milk of the sheep and that is how the pecorino romano originated. From the beginning, spaghetti carbonara was therefore made with pecorino romano.
If you go on a city trip to Rome, you can also expect spaghetti carbonara to contain only this cheese. It is cursing in the church to use parmesan cheese instead of pecorino romano.
Now it is quite a challenge to get pecorino romano. That is why it is a great choice to use parmesan cheese as an alternative.
Alternative: Parmesan cheese
Fair is fair, parmesan cheese is also super tasty and especially in spaghetti carbonara. Not for nothing that many people decide to make it with this cheese. Like Pecorino Romano, Parmesan is hard, salty, and Italian. A great alternative if you ask us!
There are also different types of parmesan cheeses. This all has to do with how long the cheeses have been aged. The real original Parmesans are: Grana Padano and Parimigiano Reggiano.
Parimigiano is aged longer and therefore has a more intense flavour. In addition to these two cheeses, ‘Parmezaan’ can also be found in Dutch supermarkets. Sometimes the Parmesan cheese is mixed with Dutch cheese. This is of course not the intention if you want to make an authentic Italian dish. Pay close attention to this when you get ingredients for spaghetti carbonara.
Buy the cheese
After reading this blog, chances are you have become curious about Pecorino Romano. We believe that you should definitely try spaghetti carbonara with Pecorino Romano. Chances are you won’t want anything else then.
Fortunately, getting your hands on Pecorino Romano isn’t that difficult. You don’t have to go to a cheese farmer or an Italian deli, you can probably buy the cheese in the supermarket (in most). So just take it with you with the weekly groceries and give it a try.
The other ingredients of spaghetti carbonara
Above we talked about the cheese in spaghetti carbonara. But, of course, cheese isn’t the only ingredient that’s important to make this dish taste great. Since the dish contains few ingredients, it is important that they are all of good quality.
We’ll tell you more about the ingredients and which one to choose in our blog: ‘What’s in spaghetti carbonara?’
Which wine with Pecorino Romano
In addition to all the ingredients that go into spaghetti carbonara, one element should of course not be missing. The wine of course! With a nice plate of pasta carbonara comes a matching wine.
We have selected for you which wine is best with spaghetti carbonara. We think that is a full, red wine like the Italian wine Barolo. Are you curious about other wines that also go well with spaghetti carbonara? You can read all about it in our blog: ‘which wine do you drink with spaghetti carbonara’
Spaghetti carbonara recipe
Spaghetti carbonara can only be prepared in one way. And that’s the Italian way of course. Because spaghetti carbonara is not difficult to make, but there is a lot to tell about this classic, we give you a few links below to other blogs about carbonara.
So do you want to find out more about this classic Italian pasta dish? Then read the blogs below:
Other blogs about spaghetti carbonara: