Carbonara--pasta recipe
  Re: (...)
Just wondering if anyone has a favorite version of this??

My computer techie called me today at 4:00 p.m. and said I'M COMING FOR DINNER!!!! Now what on earth could I make quickly to satisfy a single 34 year old (and a humoungous appetite that will eat everything but shellfish--highly allergic) with the ingredients readily available. Went scrounging through the pasta recipes and this looked doable. TOO many versions!!! I peeked at the [Email]C@H[/Email] pasta issue and couldn't come up with what I had in the fridge sooooo---went searching. I made a recipe from Cook's Illustrated and it was wonderful!!! YUMMMMM!!!

Will post the recipe in a bit
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Carbonara--pasta recipe by Roxanne 21 (Just wondering if an...)
Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Serves 4-6

Add regular table salt to the pasta cooking water, but use sea salt flakes, if you can find them, to season dish. Note that while either table salt or sea salt can be used when seasoning in step 3, they are not used in equal amounts,

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound bacon (6-8 slices), slices halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼ inch pieces
½ cup dry white wine
3 large eggs
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (about ¾ ounce)
3 small garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or minced to paste
1 pound spaghetti
Salt (see note) and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set a large heatproof serving bowl on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to rolling boil in large Dutch oven or stockpot.

2. While water is heating, heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add wine and simmer until alcohol aroma has cooked off and wine is slightly reduced, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Beat eggs, cheeses, and garlic together with a fork in a small bowl; set aside.

3. When water comes to the boil, add pasta and 1 TBS table salt; stir to separate pasta. Cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and drain pasta for about 5 seconds, leaving pasta slightly wet. Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl; if pasta is dry add some reserved cooking water and toss to moisten. Immediately pour egg mixture over hot pasta, sprinkle with 1 tsp sea salt flakes or ¾ tsp table salt; toss well to combine. Pour bacon mixture over pasta, season generously with black pepper, and toss well to combine.

4. Serve immediately.

Serve with some parmesan biscuits (to die for) and a green salad with basil vinaigrette.

HE ATE THE WHOLE THING!!!! (except for my bit--)

No dessert---no time with all the activities going on--but he had no complaints!!! Nice recipe!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Carbonara--pasta recipe by Roxanne 21 (Just wondering if an...)
Thanks Roxanne, I will have to try this one. I have a cheat recipe I use - guess I should post this on the quciky post...

Brown a few slices of bacon, remove from pan and and brown cut up chicken breast or tenders in the bacon fat. Cook the pasta and when ready to drain reserve a little of the pasta water and drain the hot pasta over some frozen petite peas. Micro a container of Buitoni refrigerated alfredo sauce and dump all together. Serve with fresh chopped tomato on top and fresh parmesean. So good and so easy.
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Re: Carbonara--pasta recipe by esgunn (Thanks Roxanne, I w...)
I love Carbonara, but I think I'm getting pasta'd out!!!!! I ll save it for next month!
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.
  Re: Re: Carbonara--pasta recipe by Lorraine (I love Carbonara, bu...)
I would still like to have your favorite recipe???
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: Carbonara--pasta recipe by Roxanne 21 (I would still like t...)

I would still like to have your favorite recipe???

Roxanne, here is our family recipe for "Pasta Carbonara". If my Nonna (great-grandma) knew I was sharing these family "secrets", she wouldn't be too happy! (some "secret" thing). I say, "share the love!"

This pasta dish is just one of many that have become far too "Americanized" -- people have been adding all sorts of things to it, like cream, veggies of all different types, other types of cheese like mozzarella or provolone, just to name a few things. It no longer remains "Carbonara". Not saying that this is bad or wrong, it's just that people want a specific dish, looking for the real thing, and it's not. (and not just for Italian food, this happens in all ethnic dishes!) The "authentic" recipe calls for a dried pork product, "guanciale", which is available here in the US at specialty stores, but since it is not so readily available, pancetta became the #1 "replacement". Tho that was "easier" to find, slab bacon started to replace the pancetta!!!

Reminder, again, this is from my cookbook...more rhetoric than actual prep/cook time, yadayada......

Also sending you our "tomato salad", AKA, "Panzanella". We're having this for dinner tonight as our salad. Hope you enjoy these!


Pasta carbonara – a pasta dish made by the housewives of their men who worked with coal, whether it be down in the mine or out of it, shoveling it into huge trunks (like those boxcars connected on the train tracks) or into wheelbarrows, delivering coal to homes. The men would come home dusty, dark, and black, covered in the “carbon” from the black coal. It’s a fast and incredibly simple pasta dish, loaded with flavor with only a few ingredients. Because of the readiness of this pasta, this meal became associated with these coal workers and what they looked like at the end of the day.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Total time: 20-22 minutes

YIELD: Serves 4


1 pound dry pasta, rigati, or rigatoni*
2 tablespoons EV olive oil
4 ounces guanciale (if not available, can use pancetta or slab bacon can be substituted, cubed or if already sliced, cut into thin strips)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 large eggs, scrambled, set aside
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more to pass at table
freshly ground black pepper
handful of Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley), chopped coarse


1. Fill the pasta pot with cold water and place over high heat to bring to a boil. While waiting for this and while cooking the pasta, prepare the sauce. Both should be done at the same time, which is what you want. The pasta should be HOT! This is necessary as the heat from the pasta will help cook the scrambled eggs.
2. When the water comes to boil, add salt (1 tablespoon) and then the pasta. The pasta should take about 10 minutes to cook al dente. Make the sauce while this cooks.
3. Have the eggs ready by scrambling them. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano to the eggs and mix well, making sure there are no lumps of cheese. Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and the fat is rendered.
5. Add the garlic into the fat and sauté for under one minute, only enough to soften it .
6. Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan and toss for 2 minutes, enough to coat the pasta in the fat.
7. Remove the skillet from the fire and pour in the eggs and cheese mixture, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken but DO NOT SCRAMBLE. You do this off the heat to prevent this from happening!)
8. Thin out the sauce with a little bit of the pasta water, until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
9. Season carbonara with freshly ground black pepper. Taste for salt and add if needed.
10. Mound the pasta into warm serving pasta bowls. Garnish with the chopped parsley.
11. Pass the Parmigian Reggiano around the table.

NOTES: The use of pasta rigati or rigatoni is because of the "lines" in the pasta. The lines are there because the help hold more sauce on the pasta, the sauce fills in the grooves. There is also a fettucini rigati which can be used but note that it is a thicker pasta, despite the "lines" and will make a heavier dish.

(Tomato & Bread Salad*)

This is a refreshing tomato salad and a good way to use up that day old bread!

YIELD: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes


2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
1/4 cup thinly sliced then chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup EV olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt (if no sea salt, use kosher – do not use table salt in this amount, it will be far too salty due to the smaller granules; season accordingly)
freshly ground black pepper
homemade croutons (recipe follows this one) – OR – left over crusty bread, torn into bite size pieces*
handful of fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 cups baby arugula, optional (makes a more hardy “salad”, but not a “true” panzanella.)
fresh Parmigiana Reggiano, for shaving


1. First, prepare the tomatoes and set them in a colander to drain their excess liquids. Gather the remainder of ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper. If using the crutons or bread, add them now and toss everything well.
3. Divide the tomato salad among 4 plates or salad bowls.
4. Top each with agugula, if using.
5. With a vegetable peeler, shave some of the fresh Parmigiano Reggiano over each bowl.
6. Serve immediately.

1. If not going to serve right away, do not add the croutons or the bread until just before serving to prevent breakdown and sogginess.
2. I don't always peel the tomatoes, especially if time is an issue.
3. *This salad can be made without the bread or croutons.

CROUTONS (for Panzanella – or anything else!)

YIELD: 6 cups of croutons

Prep time: 10-12 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Total time: 18-22 minutes


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups crustless day old bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
sea salt (or kosher salt, do not use table salt, due to fine granules)
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigian Reggiano (finely grated because it sticks better to the croutons)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place a cookie sheet in the oven to heat up.
3. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and heat until it begins to foam or bubble up.
4. Add the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds.
5. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter.
6. Season with the salt and pepper.
7. Transfer the bread to the cookie sheet and immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm so the cheese will melt.
8. Return the cookie sheet to the oven. Stir the croutons one or two times.
9. Continue to bake the croutons until they are crisp and lightly goldened on the outside but are still soft inside. This will take 8-9 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and let cool.
11. Store unused croutons in an airtight container or heavy duty (freezer) zipper plastic baggie.

NOTES: It is easier to remove the crust from any day old bread or any crusty, earthen loaf if you use a serrated knife. You can then change to a regular chef’s knife to cut into cubes (the chef’s knife will not tear the bread like the serrated knife will).

Vive Bene! Spesso L'Amore! Di Risata Molto!

Buon Appetito!


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