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Carbonara SOS

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello Good day!

I have been dying to know how to make a very special extra delicious carbonara for my hubby as this is his favorite. Would you be kind to help me make this happen? Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.;)
post #2 of 17
Well, there's two kinds of spaghetti carbonara: the classic Italian version, and the one that's become standard in a great many restaurants around the world.

The first uses nothing but bacon (or pancetta, guanciale, etc.), pasta, black pepper, fresh-grated Parmesan and Romano (or similar) cheeses, and raw eggs; some versions add a little onion and even white wine to the bacon while it cooks, to add flavor, but this is optional and in my opinion doesn't improve the dish.

The other version uses quite a bit of cream and sometimes butter. It is in effect pasta with bacon-cream sauce, thickened (usually) with egg and cheese.

Which did you have in mind?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello, thank you for the quick reply...I was thinking maybe i could do with the second one, the one with a bit of cream and butter in it? Kindly give me the ingredients and can you recommend what kind of pasta i will use and the procedure on how to go about it...Thanks so much:smiles:
post #4 of 17
With a bit of prep you could put down your wine and knock this out in about 10 mins!
This dish is cook to order so have enough prep to cook him seconds

Cook drain & oil/butter your pasta ahead of time & leave it handy

Bacon is the feature & the only room you've got to move so choose carefully...what he likes or your own tweak, panchetta, julienne of danish, crispy streaky, speck?
Cut and cook the bacon to the degree you want & leave handy on paper towels

Mix say... 4 egg yolks with a Tsp of cream, season & stick in the fridge.. have finely sliced/diced onion in there too.

For service
Your bowls (eating on the couch?) are in the oven on low
Next to the stove is melted butter, seasoning, some emergency hot water with a ladle & the rest of your prep
On the stove is a heavy base pan heating to med/hot

Saute 2 portions of the onions in some of the clarified butter quickly, keeping them moving to prevent colour...throw in the bacon allow to reheat a bit, add enough cream to cover the base of the pan, throw in 2 portions of pasta & season. When it bubbles mix & reduce til it starts to thicken (if you go too far add a little water) Turn of the element, add bout 1/3 of the egg yolks, mix in quickly and carefully...
Remove from heat, check seasoning & serve before the egg fully sets garnished with parmesan &....?

can add garlic, basil, oregano, toasted pine nuts but is probably better left clean

Worth a shot for ease of management :rolleyes:
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
post #5 of 17
Chris is correct there is 2 ways to do it that I know of maybe more. Only difference in these and the way I do it, In NY we added green peas, and I may add a few teaspoons of the pasta water but thats NY.:D
post #6 of 17
Yes, fair enough, Ed. Green peas do come up a fair amount, usually with the cream-based versions, in my experience (which is limited).

Sounds like the OP wants the cream version. Got an approach?

(Me, I like the non-cream, non-veg, purist version, despite my usual anti-purism tendencies....)
post #7 of 17
With the exception of first sauteing the panchetta most of the guys I know handle it like an Alfreddo only they dont add egg. Years ago before health issues were so important Alfredo and carbonara were both egg oriented, but even back then it was a matter of taste and where you came from.:D
post #8 of 17
You use whole eggs of just the yolks?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #9 of 17
Used to be Yolk but like I mentioned now hardly anyone uses anymore, Like a Laison in soup ,today most people dont use anymore. To many issues with raw egg Yolks.
post #10 of 17
The only carbonara I remember making was at a restaurant:

handful chopped prosciutto
cup or so heavy cream
an egg yolk
grated Romano
chopped flat leaf

Saute prosciutto - mix egg yolk with cream and add - bring to simmer before adding cooked linguine - toss in Romano, lots - plate and sprinkle green stuff on the white stuff.

Sauce was heated, not reduced. The cheese helped thicken it, but it was served a little bit soupy.

I didn't know that the cream was NOT traditional. See, I learned something today.;)
post #11 of 17

real carbonara

for a pound of pasta

saute about a quarter cup of pancetta or bacon in a large skillet
until it render off the fat and starts to crisp
add some fresh ground pepper and 2 minced shallots or half a red onion

cook a few minutes more and deglaze with 1/2 cup white wine, add a small amount of chicken stock or starchy water from the pasta pot

whisk 2 eggs with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese in a bowl

drain pasta return to the pot add the egg mixture , fresh parsley and toss around (not over a flame or the egg will scramble)

serve with additional grated cheese

very simple dish

the bacon flavors the dish and the egg mixture along with the starch from the pasta helps make a sauce. you can add a touch of cream to make even richer but true carbonara does not contain cream
live to eat dont just eat to live
live to eat dont just eat to live
post #12 of 17
For Banquet service you cannot use egg, as the time and heat sitting in a chaffer will break the sauce. Thats why some places make with cream.:D
post #13 of 17


As the name shows it has to be Carbon or black, squid or cuttlefish ink sac is used to impart black colour , however these days they use black spaghetti, I have one beg left from last trip to Italy . But it is up to imagination.
post #14 of 17
Ah, not so sure about that. The full name for the dish is pasta a la carbonara and a carbonara in Italy is a coal miner. So, it is pasta in the style of the coal miner.

As evidenced by the number of recipes posted here there are many ways to prepare it.
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

Chris is correct there is 2 ways to do it that I know of maybe more. Only difference in these and the way I do it, In NY we added green peas, and I may add a few teaspoons of the pasta water but thats NY.:D


Peas and Bacon? Who would have thunk.

post #16 of 17

The way I make it : 


Same size pile of bacon to finely chopped onion. About half an med onion, 1/2 lb bacon/panchetta for about 4 servings. probably a lb of pasta


Saute bacon, render much fat. Reserve bacon bits. 


Add onion to bacon fat, sweat until clear, make space in center of pan and add minced garlic. Cook for a minute and mix with onions. 


Yes, I think white wine makes an appreciable difference - for the better. 


After about 5 minutes more of slow cooking onions, add a splash of wine, Drier the better. 


Mix about 1/2 cup parmesan or romano in three large beaten eggs. 


Add al dente pasta to the onions with med heat. Toss. 


Turn off heat, wait few seconds and slowly add the egg while tossing with tongs, assuring the egg doesn't scramble (I test the heat by putting my finger into the pasta. If I can't stand the heat - too hot. And yes, I use my gloveless finger. :) )  


Toss with chopped parsley and season accordingly. 



Carbonara seems to be like Paella where there are many different types of methods and ingredients and yet it can still be carbonara?


I can also see how this is a blue collar dish. Lot's of protein and fat - a heart attack on a plate unless you work it off.

post #17 of 17

Carbonara is guanciale, PR cheese, egg, black pepper.  Some people use pancetta b/c guanciale isn't as common here.  (I maintain that if you use bacon or pancetta, it changes the flavor profile totally so that it's not carbonara anymore but my stance is in the minority, so there you go.)


And there are regional styles such as carbonara di fabriano (basically carbonara with sausage), common to the Le Marche area, for example.  

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