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Old 09-09-2014, 06:59 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianne View Post
I know posting this recipe may seem banal, but there are so many myths about the preparation of this very simple, classic Roman dish. I first learned it years ago when I was living in Rome.

Called 'carbonara' because one of the essential ingredients is the heavy speckling with freshly grated coarse black pepper, that somewhat resembles tiny pieces of charcoal, this spaghetti dish is now acclaimed worldwide, and unfortunately often wrongly made.

For four people:

500 gr. spaghetti, of the thicker variety - thin won't do, and it has to be spaghetti, not tagliatelle or any other type of pasta, although you can get away with rigatoni if you find spaghetti difficult to handle at the table.

15 gr smoked streaky bacon - the fat content must be approximately equal to the meat content, evenly cut into tiny cubes - in Italy they use 'guanciale' or pancetta. Guanciale is like pancetta, but from a different cut of pork. Any rind should be removed.

Extra virgin olive oil - about 10 - 15 cl, or enough to shallow-fry the bacon.

2 whole eggs and 2 yolks, very fresh.

Roman pecorino cheese. This is like Parmesan, but made from ewe's milk. It has a stronger flavour than Parmesan and higher acidity, and balances very well with the eggs and the bacon. Failing that, Parmesan will do, but no other cheese.

Lots and lots of fresh coarsely ground black pepper.

Preparation:

Notes:
The egg mixture must not be heated up after being mixed into the spaghetti - this is fundamental to the finish of the dish.
The heat of the fried bacon, olive oil and cooked spaghetti is sufficient to 'cook' the eggs to the right degree, which should be creamy, not scrambled.

Cream must never be added - it's not 'carbonara'! if it is!!

Do not drain the spaghetti totally dry - if you do, reserve a couple of spoonsful of the cooking water to add back to the spaghetti afterwards. This is what gives the nice creamy texture to the sauce - not cream!!

The bacon should be slowly crisped, to dissolve as much of the fat into the oil as possible.

The amount of black pepper: should look as though you've had an accident with the pepper mill.

Cooking:

Cook the spaghetti 'al dente' - any softer spoils the texture of the dish.

Fry the bacon gently in the olive oil until the fat has melted and the bacon cubes crisped.

Beat the eggs and yolks together, and add enough cheese to make it fairly stiff.

When the spaghetti is cooked and mostly drained, add the bacon and oil, then add the egg mix, off the heat, and the black pepper, mix well with the spaghetti so that the pasta is thoroughly coated with the sauce and is well 'speckled' with the black pepper, and serve immediately.

ciao a tutti

dianne
I will try this as my efforts at Carbonara heve been middlin disastrous. Either spahetti with scrambled eggs or spaghetti with slimey raw egg. Cqn't get it right.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:56 PM   #32
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I think many people make the mistake of draining the pasta too well. Some starchy pasta water is needed for it to be successful.

"Do not drain the spaghetti totally dry - if you do, reserve a couple of spoonsful of the cooking water to add back to the spaghetti afterwards. This is what gives the nice creamy texture to the sauce - not cream!!
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #33
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I will try this as my efforts at Carbonara heve been middlin disastrous. Either spahetti with scrambled eggs or spaghetti with slimey raw egg. Cqn't get it right.
One thing I do is, using a large glass bowl, and after my pasta is sufficiently mixed with the egg and bacon, I give the pasta a liberal sprinkling of parmesan and cover the bowl with a pot lid or plate to help the sauce to "set". It won't cook like scramble egg this way. Adding a lot of Parmesan cheese helps thicken the egg mixture....
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #34
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Oh man, now I'm craving carbonara. This is the best recipe I've found and its one of my "go to" dishes when I'm tired or stumped for ideas. On the list for Friday night methinks.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:05 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
I will try this as my efforts at Carbonara heve been middlin disastrous. Either spahetti with scrambled eggs or spaghetti with slimey raw egg. Cqn't get it right.
Like anything else there must be a balance between dry and liquid ingredients.
I have always used egg yolks only. One egg yolk and 75 grams of pancetta per 200 grams of uncooked pasta is my guideline.
P.S I believe there was a typo in the original recipe: 15 gr. of pancetta is not enough for 500 grams of pasta. Most likely she meant 150 grams. (I did not read all previous posts, it is possible that somebody noticed it also).
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:25 PM   #36
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I doubt I am going to be making this any time soon. If my wife finds out I put raw egg in a dish she would never, never allow kids to touch it or touch it herself.
Does she know about mousses and tiramisu then? Many recipes of these dishes contain raw egg.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:16 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Does she know about mousses and tiramisu then? Many recipes of these dishes contain raw egg.
Allow me. The raw eggs will no longer be raw eggs the moment you tossed the hot drained pasta on them.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:18 PM   #38
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Allow me. The raw eggs will no longer be raw eggs the moment you tossed the hot drained pasta on them.
Yes I agree. The same cannot be said for the dishes I mentioned in my post, i.e. in some mousses and tiramisu recipes.

Perhaps you meant to address your post to CharlieD (not myself) since it was he that brought this up?
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:24 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
Does she know about mousses and tiramisu then? Many recipes of these dishes contain raw egg.
I'm sure if CharlieD made these dishes, he would choose recipes that don't contain raw egg. I know I do.
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:07 PM   #40
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It has nothing to do with the fact that egg cooks or not. The sheer knowledge that egg goes in raw and she will not touch it, for that matter she actually doesn't touch anything with egg, I mean like food, desserts are ok, cooked desserts, not mouss. Well, cheese omelet is the only thing I know she eats that is egg.
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