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Old 06-06-2005, 11:51 AM   #11
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Thanks, people! :)

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Old 06-06-2005, 01:15 PM   #12
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Also, traditional carbonara has a good amount of fresh cracked pepper. The reason for the eggs in the sauce is because it was served as a breakfast dish for miners who worked the coal mines. The specks of black pepper was supposed to be reminiscent of coal.

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Old 06-06-2005, 08:37 PM   #13
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I live in cheese land and have often found lovely cheeses that work in place of parm. It isn't the same, mind you, but it is fun to experiment. You need a very dry, hard, and somewhat strong cheese. The main thing is to look for aged cheeses. A local cheese maker used to make an aged swiss that was wonderful in recipes calling for parm. Many of our local cheesemakers experiment with aged hard cheeses, and when we find them, we support them as much as we can. I have used egg beaters for carbonara (we simply don't eat a lot of eggs, so I often don't have them on hand, while egg beaters can be sitting there). You don't have to worry about the cooking issue; they're safe to eat as is since they're pasturized. I also took to using them in egg nog when we lived at a location where there was a problem. Now Hubby always uses egg beaters and his nog is always a popular feature. But it is always fun to experiment with new products. I recently used a Spanish hard cheese made with whole peppercorns in place of parm in a recipe, and it was to die for. When grated that pepper flavor was wonderful.
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:59 AM   #14
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I have sure learned a lot from all of you with this thread, as usual.

When I thought of carbonara it usually brought to mind the basic eggs, bacon, and parm recipe.

Then, when someone mentioned cream, I thought of what I used to consider an Alfredo type sauce, with the butter, flour, cream, and parm.

Then I did some Googling and found a bunch of recipes between the bare basic carbonara sauce and Alfredo.

Seems that there are many variations on the theme.

Thanks for all the recipes and ideas. I now have a whole lot of interesting places to go when I think of pasta.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:23 PM   #15
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Here's a simple and delicious recipe of Pasta Carbonara.


4-6 bacon slices, diced
3 tbsp. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. heavy cream
8 oz. thin spaghetti or fettucine
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Optional additions: Sauteed boneless chicken, mushrooms

In large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon about 3 minutes or until limp. Add onion; cook 3-5 minutes longer or until bacon is browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds. Drain all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet. Stir in cream; bring just to boiling point. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes. Keep warm.
Add cooked spaghetti, Parmesan cheese, pepper and parsley to cream mixture. Toss to coat spaghetti well. Serves 4-6. Prep time: about 10 minutes. Cooking time: 10-15 minutes.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:49 PM   #16
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I like claire's idea of trying different hard cheeses - what's the worst that can happen???? lol I just had a 3-year old Gouda - OMG it was heaven. Nice and hard like Parmesan but yellow/orange. I think however you make it - with or without eggs, with pancetta instead of bacon, with fresh Parmesan or fresh locatelli it will be good.


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