When cooking spaghetti carbonara, I mix the pasta, bacon, cheese and egg yolks together with a scoop. This technique frequently results in mashed spaghetti as well as bacon clustering.
What could I do different?
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In addition to the tips from Joe's great grandmother, you might want to try and rinse the pasta thoroughly with some lukewarm water after cooking it al dente. That way you rinse off the remaining starch and you prevent the pasta from cooking any further. Rinsing results in firmer pasta that is silky smooth and doesn't clump together or get mashed up. Your scoop or tongs will slither right through without damaging the pasta. :)
Here's how I learned from my great grandmother:
But I've also been known to mix everything but the pasta together (maybe not the pork if it's still too hot), and then toss it all together while the pasta's still hot, kinda like if you were tossing to mix the dressing on a salad. (tongs work really well)
Either way, you do end up with the fried pork bits at the bottom of the pot you were mixing in. The easy way around this is to save 1/3 to 1/2 of it, and sprinkle it over the top when serving.
The key is water. Use the pasta water for the best flavor. This dish is mostly about timing. Do not ever rinse the pasta with water!
Also, if you are making Carbonara with anything other than Guanciale (pork cheek)--Shame on you!
Also contained is the video of the recipe. The man is the real deal (with the real Roman accent to match the dish). Notice how often he uses the water.