The Biggest Mistake People Make With Carbonara, According To Nadia Munno - Exclusive

Carbonara is a tough dish to perfect, even if the classic carbonara sauce consists of only four ingredients: black pepper, eggs, some form of cured pork, and pecorino romano (or you can substitute with parmesan cheese). Done well, the result is a tasty dinner dish with a rich sauce that was invented in 1944 and is a favorite in Rome. If you've traveled to Italy and ordered a traditional carbonara for yourself, then you know just how delicious the meal can be — if it's done right.

During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table to discuss her upcoming appearance at FoodieCon, Italian-born cook Nadia Munno revealed the biggest mistake people make with carbonara — though there isn't just one way for this meal to go wrong. The social media star — also referred to as The Pasta Queen — explained that using the fat rendered from the guanciale bacon is an important step for a tasty pasta. (Guanciale bacon is the cheek of pork, which is different from pancetta, defined as the belly of pork.) Munno also shared that cooks often "don't grate the pecorino romano cheese fine enough, they don't use pasta water, and they don't cook the pasta al dente." But the biggest carbonara mistake the TikToker mentioned is probably not the first one that comes to mind for pasta.

Don't make it a frittata

It doesn't take many eggs to make a carbonara for dinner — only two, according to our simple spaghetti carbonara recipe. Nadia Munno explained that frying the eggs is the "ultimate" mistake a cook could make, telling Tasting Table, "At that point, we can't call it carbonara. ... That'll be like a frittata." The cookbook author added, "You could do a frittata di biase that is carbonara style. I've done it." Munno described a frittata di biase as "eggs and bacon fried with spaghetti" in the form of a frittata, which may be delicious but is a completely different dish than an authentic carbonara.

Carbonara sauce only takes about five minutes to make, and it's pretty easy to scramble the eggs accidentally. To avoid this, take Munno's advice and add a ladle of pasta water to the sauce. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature and mixed with a fork to ensure the ingredient isn't whipped, and your carbonara will be saved from becoming a different eggy dish.

Nadia Munno, aka The Pasta Queen, will be appearing at FoodieCon at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on February 25. Keep up with her latest recipes on TikTok and Instagram.