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I want to make carbonara tonight. In the past I've used a recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (red); it's called Cheesy Spaghetti or something. :biggrin:

Mario's recipe uses only pancetta, spaghetti, parmesan, eggs & pepper; Marcella's has garlic, white wine, parsley, parm & romano; Lidia's has onions, parm & chicken stock.

Mario claims his is the authentic version.

I'm confused. Should I go back to Betty?????

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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I say go with what tastes good to you.

I don't have easy access to pancetta so I use bacon. Mmmm...bacon.

Also, the adding of the egg off the heat always scares me so I, wimp that I am, add it while the pan is still on the heat. I am sure there's enough residual heat to kill anything that may have hitched a ride with the egg, but better safe than sorry.

It's interesting that Mario's recipe has no added liquid and the other two do. I learned to make it Mario's way...simple, quick and delicious. It's a great way to use up leftover pasta.

Let us know which recipe you went with.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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By all means, go back to Betty if that's the version you like, and don't apologize for it. But if you've never experienced the utter simplicity of the Batali version, maybe you owe it to yourself to try it.

This is peasant food, and like meatloaf, chili and pot a feu, there is no "authentic" version -- or rather there are millions of them. For instance, I'm pretty sure I saw Mario make it with bucatini on Martha Stewart's show the other day; this should give you a clue as to the flexible nature of the dish, even in the hands of the self-proclaimed keeper of the flame!

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I agree with Dave,Mario's version is probably the closest to authentic.

I always heat a serving bowl in the oven,and is where I do the mixing.

Also after I have cooked the panchetta I add a little of the pasta water

then the pasta and then eggs,next cheese and cracked black pepper.

Definately worth giving it a go.

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By all means, go back to Betty if that's the version you like, and don't apologize for it.

The Betty version is actually really really good, by the way. It has wine!! :biggrin:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Mine is somewhat like Mario's but I use garlic and dried chile as well as huge quantities of black pepper. I can often get guanciale. If I can't, I use a proscuitto hock diced.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I use bacon because it is the easiest to get. I also do it very stealthily because, if my boyfriend ever found out that he was eating barely cooked egg, he would never forgive me. Cook's Illustrated ran an article on carbonara and I use their recipe, mostly because they give such a convincing argument for it!

9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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My local deli has started carrying Niman Ranch guanciale; I haven't used it in carbonara yet, but I had it on a sandwich yesterday and it's great. The cure is heavy on the rosemary, so it won't work in everything, but I think it will make a fine carbonara. Probably worth ordering off their website if you've never tried guanciale and can't get it locally.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Any sort of cured meat with fat according to taste should work. We use pancetta, but used to use blanched bacon before pancetta became so widely available. We blanched the bacon to rid it of the smokey taste which is not authentic to the dish, but I imagine it could be very good and very tastey with the additional flavor of the smoked bacon. It's a question of preference and level of authenticity desired. Are you just making dinner or recreating the taste of a past experience. There's a validity in having the second affect your cooking and I don't mean to say "just" as if that's not enough. We need to understand the options we have use them well, or not use them if they interfere with what we want.

I can't see the addition of any liquid making this dish better, by that I suppose I mean more intensely what I think of as "carbonara."

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Are you just making dinner or recreating the taste of a past experience.

Just making dinner, Bux. "Cheesey Spaghetti" from Betty Crocker. Hmmm. Not as bad as it sounds. :rolleyes: Still trying to decide which of my 3 favorite Italian cooks' recipes to choose from: Mario, Lidia, or Marcella. Watch me go back to Betty!

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Well, I went with Marcella's but didn't follow the recipe exactly. It still came out great. Just as I finished it up, Tyler Florence came on The Food Network and made - spaghetti carbonara!!! His guest swooned all over the place. Now I have to try his version.

Correction: Betty Crocker's version is called "Cheese Spaghetti Toss" not "Cheesey Spaghetti." I don't know which is worse.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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  • 1 year later...

I really enjoy this pasta sauce, and was wondering how others prepair it.

Parmigiano Romano vs. Grana Padano?

Egg Yolks vs. Whole Eggs?

Shallots vs. Onions?

I use shallots, Grana Padano (prefering to save the Parmigiano Romano to be eaten fresh or as a garnish on food), and whole eggs.

-- Jason

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I really enjoy this pasta sauce, and was wondering how others prepair it.

Parmigiano Romano vs. Grana Padano?

Egg Yolks vs. Whole Eggs?

Shallots vs. Onions?

I use shallots, Grana Padano (prefering to save the Parmigiano Romano to be eaten fresh or as a garnish on food), and whole eggs.

itch, do you mean Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano?

I use a mix of Parmigiano and Pecorino, which I vary according to my mood. Usually it's 70% Parmigiano 30% Pecorino, but sometimes I want a more rustic tasting Carbonara so I go heavy on the pecorino.

Eggs: whole eggs are the traditional way but yolks will give a creamier sauce. Keeping true to the rustic origin of the dish I use whole eggs most of the time.

shallots and onions (like :angry: cream) appear in some recipes but they just don't belong there, sorry.

David Leite has a very nicely written short article on Carbonara, with some interesting info and a nice recipe for the dish.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Uhhhhhhhhhh . . . how could you leave out the most important question of all: WHICH BACON???????  :biggrin:  :laugh:

I refuse to accept anything other then pancetta. Sorry. :raz:

OK then, let's make this game a little more interesting, WHICH pancetta :cool::biggrin: ?

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Of course, the coarse-ground black pepper is the basis for this dish's name, since they resemble flecks of coal. One method of treating the eggs is to temper them with a bit of the pasta water before dressing the dish. I recall that Batali sets an unbroker yolk on the past in his presentation.

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OK then, let's make this game a little more interesting, WHICH pancetta  :cool:  :biggrin: ?

I am no expert on pancetta, but I have read in places that there are over 20 types of pancetta. Some of these include "smoked pancetta", but pancetta isn't supposed to be smoked (traditionally) as I understand it.

However, if you accept "smoked pancetta" as true pancetta, I prefer the unsmoked. As far as the different types of "unsmoked pancetta" go, I have little preference because I have little experience.

-- Jason

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OK then, let's make this game a little more interesting, WHICH pancetta   :cool:  :biggrin: ?

I am no expert on pancetta, but I have read in places that there are over 20 types of pancetta. Some of these include "smoked pancetta", but pancetta isn't supposed to be smoked (traditionally) as I understand it.

However, if you accept "smoked pancetta" as true pancetta, I prefer the unsmoked. As far as the different types of "unsmoked pancetta" go, I have little preference because I have little experience.

itch,

my comment was intended as a joke. Didn't want to be snotty or anything.

Just for the record: I've made carbonara using almost any kind of bacon I could find, in emergency situations, and it always comes out at least palatable, even using the cheap soggy smoked stuff I often find on sale here in Germany.

If you want to experiment a bit, try using guanciale for a change, if you can find it. Some people swear it works much better than pancetta in carbonara. I disagree, but it's pretty much a matter of taste: both are delicious.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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itch,

my comment was intended as a joke. Didn't want to be snotty or anything.

I didn't think you were being snotty, but I did take it seriously. I thought I was about to get some wisdom concerning which pancetta to use for which dish. :smile:

I've also seen speck listed as a type of pancetta, but speck is German bacon right?

-- Jason

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itch,

my comment was intended as a joke. Didn't want to be snotty or anything.

I didn't think you were being snotty, but I did take it seriously. I thought I was about to get some wisdom concerning which pancetta to use for which dish. :smile:

I've also seen speck listed as a type of pancetta, but speck is German bacon right?

:smile: good to have cleared that up.

which pancetta to use? I like pancetta that is not too fat and is cured with plenty of pepper, something like rigatino (streaky pancetta) from Tuscany. That's also the reason why I prefer this to guanciale which has much more fat than muscle.

the speck thing is a bit confusing. When I moved to Germany, my wife (German) could not understand why I insisted on the fact that speck is not too different from prosciutto, till we cleared up the difference between German speck (bacon and cured lard) and the Austrian and Sudtyrolean speck, which is made from the leg of the pig. The confusion arises because of the different German dialects, which are particularly extreme when it comes to food items... try ordering a bread roll in different cities in Germany and you'll soon get an idea of how confusing it can get :rolleyes: .

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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