Recipe Review

Twitter Is Really Upset with Nigella Lawson’s Carbonara Recipe

published Jul 7, 2017
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(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Authentic Italian carbonara is a pasta dish made with a few simple ingredients: eggs, hard cheese like Parmigiano and Pecorino, bacon, and black pepper. It’s pretty hard to mess up, right? Well, recently celebrity chef and cookbook author Nigella Lawson took to Twitter to share her take on the classic and people were not very happy about it.

As her #RecipeOfTheDay, Lawson shared how to make “delicious Spaghetti alla Carbonara.” Twitter’s frustration lies in two extra ingredients that aren’t traditionally added to the dish: cream and white wine. To Lawson’s credit, she noted within the tweet that the recipe is “not entirely authentic.”

One Twitter user made the case that she should just call it something else and not carbonara if she’s not going to stick to the authentic recipe.

Another user resorted to giving an analogy of why her recipe was uncalled for.

But some Twitter users came to her defense. One made the case of “culinary creativity.”

The outcry against Lawson’s recipe just adds to the ongoing debate of what qualifies as an authentic recipe. If the dish is missing one crucial ingredient, or an extra ingredient has been added, do you need to change the name? Is it wrong to experiment with classics? And how much of the burden lies on the shoulders of chefs?

In the case of carbonara, it’s not new for the dish to get a remix. In the United States, the Roman pasta dish has been given an unauthentic twist as well, as most variations of the pasta come with green peas. The act of adding the vegetable would, in theory, be more blasphemous than cream or wine.

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