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The Jizzer
Mar 19, 2003

...a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a simple, comforting dish -- when made properly. It's classic Italian fare that somehow lost its magic when coming stateside, much like how cacciatore, bolognese, and even alfredo have been reduced to comical shells of their original recipes.

This is more or less "authentic" Carbonara. Note that it lacks peas, cream, chicken, or any number of other fillers as you may have seen it in restaurants. If my tone seems bitter, it is because it saddens me that the closest thing I have found in a US restaurant has been runny, goopy, or cluttered. My first real Carbonara in a neighborhood restaurant in Rome was an epiphany. Warm, textured, rustic and filling.

7/10/11 - I have tweaked the recipe based on my testing of suggestions made in this thread, and made new pictures to replace the ones lost by Waffleimages. Someone so inclined is welcome to add this to the wiki.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara v1.5

1lb fresh pasta (recipe HERE)

2T butter
1/4lb pancetta
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 room-temperature eggs
1/2c shaved pecorino romano
1/2c shaved parmesan

Get pasta ready for cooking, as this is a time-sensitive dish. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.

Cut the pancetta into 1/4" cubes or lardons.

Beat eggs well, set aside. Do not mix with the cheese; it will curdle the eggs.

Over medium heat, add butter to pan, then pancetta. (Start cooking dried pasta at this point.) Cook until brown and slightly crispy, 8-10 minutes.

Add garlic, lower heat and cook until soft. (Start cooking fresh pasta at this point) Remove from heat. You may want to drain some of the fat (make sure at least 3T are still in the pan)

Drain pasta, reserving 1/4c of the cooking water.

As soon as the reserved water is below 160F (67C), incorporate into the eggs to temper them. Add the pasta to the hot pan, toss. add egg mixture. Toss until incorporated and egg no longer runny (pasta, however, will still look "wet" - this is desired). Add cheese, toss until well-coated. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve immediately.


Notes:

1) Use of pancetta is typical. Some insist that guanciale is a better substitute but remember that face bacon is less fatty and you will need to add more fat to the dish somehow.
2) Original recipes suggest cooking whole garlic cloves with the pancetta, and removing before serving, but hey, garlic.
3) You can use pecorino romano OR parmesan, but a combination of both is sublime. DO NOT USE powdered/pre-grated cheese.
4) Tempering the eggs evens out the final product and prevents scrambling of eggs, but is not required.



Fresh Pasta



Cheese, pancetta, garlic, butter, eggs. That's it.


Pancetta.


Everything else mise-en-place.


Cooked and drained pasta.


Pasta added to pan.


Finito.


No, really. Finito.

Old recipe preserved Here

The Jizzer fucked around with this message at Oct 25, 2008 around 19:50

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goddinpotty
Sep 11, 2001

by Ozmaugh


Yes, awesome. Cheesecake factory uses bacon grease and a garlic cream sauce to finish. They can die and rot in hell. Guanciale instead of pancetta is also totally awesome.

Gourd of Taste
Sep 11, 2006

It's a formal title.


oh yes thank you for no cream. I generally just make it with eggs (it's a drunk go-to) but I really like your recipe.

The Jizzer
Mar 19, 2003

...a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

goddinpotty posted:

Yes, awesome. Cheesecake factory uses bacon grease and a garlic cream sauce to finish. They can die and rot in hell. Guanciale instead of pancetta is also totally awesome.

Guanciale is also preferred but much harder to come by unless you live near a specialty deli. Pancetta is generally an acceptable compromise.

Also, almost forgot:

Pasta Dough:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs
2 tbsp water (as needeD)
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix flour and salt. Make a well, pour eggs, water, oil into the well. Start whisking with fork, gradually incorporating more flour until it is a cohesive mass. It should be moist but not overly sticky. Knead for 10 minutes. It should be slightly leathery to the touch. Cover and rest 20 minutes.

qutius
Apr 2, 2003
NO PARTIES


I haven't made this dish in quite some time, but follow the same ideals you've laid out. For those who haven't tried it...my god, do so! There is something so comforting about such a simple, delicious dish.

And your tone is quite justified, I'd say.

Jay Carney
Mar 23, 2007

If you do that you will die on the toilet.


God, I feel the same way. Every time I go to an Italian restaurant and see Carbonara on the menu I put the waiter through a goddamn trial, asking about every ingredient and then inevitably not ordering it when I find they have turned it into a monstrosity.

Great recipe though, and nice ratio of pancetta to pasta. I always mess it up and either put too much or too little in. Or I end up scrambling the eggs...for someone who considers himself a good cook this recipe gives me a headache.

Moms Stuffing
Jun 2, 2005

the little green one

I love you. I tried to explain what pasta carbonara was to a coworker and they were horrified. "Ewww you use the grease and the eggs are raw? That's disgusting." Then she goes and microwaves a Lean Cuisine so who is more disgusting, HMMMMM!?

For myself, I never add garlic to mine, but I do use shallots. I always feel like garlic, though the great love of my life really, doesn't mesh as well as some sort of good oniony flavor. But that's just me! Garlic is good too.

Marchegiana
Jan 31, 2006

. . . Bitch.

Mmmm, I know what I'm making tonight! Haven't had carbonara in a long time.

I've never gotten good carbonara here in the states. The closest I've come to was a restaurant in my home town, they had all the ingredients right but they overcooked it so the eggs were scrambled. Blech.

My recipe is pretty close to this (only onion instead of garlic). I have to buy pasteurized eggs though because my husband is a big wuss when it comes to eating raw stuff.

boba fetacheese
Dec 12, 2000


Have you ever tried getting your pancetta cut thicker from the deli and then cutting it into ~lardons yourself? I find the texture to be much better that way in carbonara.

RTFM
Jun 9, 2005


This is, by far, my favorite dish on the planet. Everytime I see it I order it without exception. I've found it's even yummier with meat tortellini.

Thanks for the recipe, I'll give this one a shot.

Combo
Aug 18, 2003



We make this at least twice a month it seems like. It was once a week for a while but that's tailed off lately. Still awesome.

Leviathan
Oct 8, 2001

I hear the jury's
still out.. on science.


How long do you have to wait after you've cooked and drained dry pasta before adding the eggs in order to not scramble them?

Anemia
Mar 28, 2002

Felix El Cartuela

The eggs shouldn't scramble as long as you don't put it back on the heat.

The Jizzer
Mar 19, 2003

...a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

Leviathan posted:

How long do you have to wait after you've cooked and drained dry pasta before adding the eggs in order to not scramble them?

Well, you add the pasta to the hot pan with pancetta/garlic right after draining, and you can stir in the egg mixture immediately after removing from heat. The heat dissipates pretty quickly once you move the pan away from a hot element.

Massive
Apr 8, 2004


What should the texture of the dish be when eaten? I tried a version of this tonite (Marcella Hazan's recipe) which asks for a bit more olive oil, and a little less cheese. I found the pasta to be a bit on the dry side...

Snorri
Apr 23, 2002


I have never been a huge Italian cuisine person and as such have never paid attention to this dish. However this recipe looks so easy and delicious I am going to have to make this for the girlfriend and I, excellent pictures and post!

Atrox
Jul 19, 2003
Take a page from DK's book and find a jewish teenager

The Jizzer posted:

My first real Carbonara in a neighborhood restaurant in Rome was an epiphany. Warm, textured, rustic and filling.

Just have to quote this. I have yet to have an amazing carbonara since returning from Italy in 2000. 8 years later and I can still remember the day and where I was that I had it. For me it was Florence and not Rome though. Will have to give your recipe a shot once I can locate some guanciale.

VV I'm sure it tasted fine; but I went from fond memories of that trattoria in Florence and the amazing carbonara there, to noticing a new post right after mine about jack cheese and bacon

Atrox fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2008 around 01:34

Bunway Airlines
Jan 12, 2008

Raptor Face


I just made it, but I had some dry jack with peppercorns in it that I used for the cheese and it was very good (the cheese tastes a lot like parm). I also used bacon because...I wanted to make it RIGHT NOW

It's awesome, thanks for the post.

Chief Penguin
Jun 18, 2007


This is the real deal, looks just like what I've had put on the table in front of me in Rome. I've never had the heart to order it in America; too afraid of the dissappointment.


However, to mix things up, I like to sometimes substitute pecorino romano for the parmesan. Try it sometime, its good!

Chief Penguin fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2008 around 01:51

Featured Creature
May 10, 2004
Tomatoes

Wow this is loving amazing. I have only had this made correctly once. I did this tonight and it looks exactly like your Jizzer. I can't believe that people would add cream to this.

Capitán Winky
Sep 6, 2003
I shit on the common man

You went to Cyrus then? I remember responding to a thread many months ago. Post a trip report! I have been dying to go back for quite some time. I might go for New Years and treat three of my best friends to the tasting menu. Stellar job on the Carbonara. You use a hand crank for the pasta? I bought attachments for my kitchenaid about two years ago, but I still use my grandmothers old pasta maker.

Shakey Shake
Oct 12, 2005
I was born this way.

I cook it the same way, but with a bit of nutmeg and I use a little of the pasta water to get the pancetta brown off the pan. It really is an incredibly easy and tasty dish. Good work.

Elise
Jun 28, 2004

by SA Support Robot


Well I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

pr0k
Jan 16, 2001

"Well if it's gonna be
that kind of party..."

Hmm, I have pancetta in the freezer. I usually just do pancetta, peas, and pasta with the cheese and a little of the pasta water. I want carbonara now.

The Jizzer
Mar 19, 2003

...a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

Capitán Winky posted:

You went to Cyrus then? I remember responding to a thread many months ago. Post a trip report! I have been dying to go back for quite some time. I might go for New Years and treat three of my best friends to the tasting menu. Stellar job on the Carbonara. You use a hand crank for the pasta? I bought attachments for my kitchenaid about two years ago, but I still use my grandmothers old pasta maker.

Working on it. Expect a 2-part Napa trip report tomorrow. (Bouchon, Cyrus, Ad Hoc)

Gentleman J
May 30, 2008


The recipe I use doesn't even call for garlic. The pancetta's flavorful enough. I'll try it next time though. Couldn't possibly hurt.

Also what I do is, while boiling the pasta and frying the pancetta, I boil a kettle of water and pour it in a metal bowl. When I'm about to put the whole thing together, I dump the water out and quickly add the eggs and cheese and beat them together. Then I drain the pasta and IMMEDIATELY dump it on top of the egg-cheese mixture. Pour the pancetta and oil on top and toss to combine with a liberal amount of black pepper.

Never had a single scrambled egg and it's the best-tasting and simplest pasta dish I know. I'd make it every day if it wasn't so caloric.

Mummy Xzibit
May 6, 2003


I'll drink coffee.

My carbonara pretty much follows yours, sans garlic.

One thing I've found that rounds out the dish is adding a splash of scotch before mixing the pasta. The flavor it imparts might not be traditional, but it is drat delicious.

evilmonkeh
Apr 17, 2004
meh

Another interesting flavour to try is adding some lemon zest, you don't need much but it makes it very refreshing!

Strict 9
Jun 20, 2001

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Looks great, but I just wanted to make sure - it's ok to eat what basically amounts to raw eggs? I know this used to be a big concern but was pretty sure eggs these days are pretty safe.

Zuph
Jul 24, 2003
Zupht0r 6000 Turbo Type-R

Strict 9 posted:

Looks great, but I just wanted to make sure - it's ok to eat what basically amounts to raw eggs? I know this used to be a big concern but was pretty sure eggs these days are pretty safe.

Here's a good academic article on raw eggs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...1?dopt=Abstract

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



I always had a problem of the eggs scrambling, even though I didn't put it back on the heat. Now I wait for the pasta to cool down to 155 and it works perfectly.

Gentleman J
May 30, 2008


Zisky posted:

My carbonara pretty much follows yours, sans garlic.

One thing I've found that rounds out the dish is adding a splash of scotch before mixing the pasta. The flavor it imparts might not be traditional, but it is drat delicious.

Really? I'm curious about this. I kind of want to try it, but I don't want to risk ruining a batch of carbonara without being more informed. What exactly does it do for the flavor? Isn't the alcohol still present if you're adding it at the end?

Viking Blood
Jun 17, 2005

The hammer of the Gods will drive our riffs to new lands

Made this last night. Turned out fantastic except for two things;
1. I used angel hair pasta which was the wrong choice, as it tended to be too glumpy.
2. Grocery didn't have Italian parsley so I used regular. The coarse texture of the fancy leaf parsley distracted from the creamy texture.

Thanks The Jizzer...scored me some brownie points.

E: spelling.

Viking Blood fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2008 around 17:23

plaguedoctor
Jun 26, 2008

I CAN DUMP MY GIRLFRIEND CAUSE SHE'S LIKE A WHORE, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT???

I was able to find the ingredients for that and made it.

It was so awesome that I took it upon myself to put it in the GWS wiki. I hope you don't mind.

Anyways, thanks for the awesome dinner

Edit:

The Jizzer posted:

Thanks for that.
Sweet. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes or anything.

plaguedoctor fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2008 around 19:07

The Macaroni
Dec 20, 2002
...it does nothing.

Heh, I've only ever had this incorrectly prepared, so I thought the eggs were supposed to be scrambled. This is a revelation. Will have to try this.

The Jizzer
Mar 19, 2003

...a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

plaguedoctor posted:

I was able to find the ingredients for that and made it.

It was so awesome that I took it upon myself to put it in the GWS wiki. I hope you don't mind.

Anyways, thanks for the awesome dinner

Thanks for that. I'm far too lazy to put this up myself. I haven't even put it up on my own food blog yet.

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



The Jizzer posted:

Thanks for that. I'm far too lazy to put this up myself. I haven't even put it up on my own food blog yet.

You have a food blog?

Gourd of Taste
Sep 11, 2006

It's a formal title.


Demagogue posted:

You have a food blog that you didn't tell us about?

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



I swear sometimes it's like we barely know you.

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FiftyFour
Jan 26, 2006
Tosspot

I'm by no means the world's best cook, but I made this tonight and it took me straight back to a restaurant in Trastevere (and where are all the pubs in Rome?)

Great post, fella

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