My favorite part of spaghetti carbonara is the generous dose of freshly ground black pepper, said to represent flecks of coal ( the “carbone”) that would drop off Italian miners’ clothes into the pasta while they were making it over a campfire. Actually my favorite-favorite part is that there’s gluten-free spaghetti out there. For a truly authentic version, use guanciale, cured pork jowl, instead of bacon. Flecks of coal are optional.
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This pasta is from the region of Lazio, around Rome. Some sources believe the dish was developed at the end of World War II, when American soldiers stationed in Rome brought rations of eggs and bacon to Italian friends who turned them into this pasta sauce. Other sources suggest that it originated with coal miners (carbonari) in the region. It may be made with either pancetta or guanciale. Both are cured pork products: Pancetta is made from the pork belly, guanciale from pork jowl. Bacon (which, unlike guanciale, is smoked) is not commonly used in Italy. But it frequently appears in this dish in the United States. The pancetta or guanciale should be cooked just to render the fat but not until crisp. The egg yolks, which serve as a liaison to thicken the sauce, are whisked with cream, then cooked with the spaghetti — to ensure that the sauce is hot — but only briefly; exposure to heat will eventually scramble the eggs and ruin the smooth consistency of the sauce. (Cream is not traditional but it is often used because it prevents the eggs from scrambling.)Click here to see 15 Easy 15-Minute Pasta Recipes.
A mash-up of classic pasta with carbonara with store-bought pierogies makes for a fast dinner that will impress even the toughest critics in your house. Recipe courtesy of chef Dale Talde for Mrs. T's Pierogies.
When I lived in Barcelona, my Italian roommate and I would cook side-by-side. She wanted to learn how to cook gluten-free since her nephew had Celiac and I wanted to learn how to make traditional Italian food. Surprisingly, most Italian food is easily converted to gluten-free. One day, inspired by a recent acquisition of Parmigiano-Reggiano (which is fairly difficult to find in Spain) at a market, Michela wanted to treat our roommates to pasta alla carbonara.
Carbonara is the closest thing to eggs and bacon as Italians get. The basics of pasta alla carbonara are pasta, cured fatty pork, grated cheese, eggs, and black pepper. Just like my lovely Italian roommate, carbonara is straight forward and beautiful, but can be temperamental if not treated correctly. Michela worked at a restaurant in Bologna for years while putting herself through university and told me that the name refers to the carbon black color from fresh cracked black pepper. The black pepper has to be visible in order for it to be a carbonara according to her. Though the recipe sounds simple, I cannot emphasis how important mise en place is for making it well. That means having everything ready to rock and roll. Otherwise, you would risk, as my Italian friend would say, “Disastro!” This dish comes together very quickly with high reward.
I love this dish with such simple ingredients; it has long been a favorite of mine. I remember making it for my family when I was barely in my teens and nothing has really changed. Well, not much has changed at least.
'Alla Carbonara' is an Italian term for a pasta dish that has a sauce made out of cream, eggs, Parmesan chese and bits of bacon (in this case pancetta). Bobby Flay's twist on traditional macaroni and cheese is not only tastes great but also won him the Throwdown challenge.Adapted from "Bobby Flay's Throwdown!" By Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron. Click here to see the Outstanding Mac and Cheese Recipes story.
Many may have thought of adding the seasonal ingredient pumpkin to a pasta dish, but few have seen it done like this before. Creamy puréed pumpkin is whisked together with coconut milk and egg yolks to yield a sweet and bold flavor that makes this a classic fall dish to serve.
Classic spaghetti carbonara: spaghetti, eggs, pecorino Romano, guanciale, and black pepper. Sounds simple enough, right? According to Salumeria Rosi chef Cesare Casella, it is. His secret to perfect carbonara? "Simplicity," he said. "You’ve got to respect the traditional recipe and good ingredients — organic eggs, the best guanciale." That said, he doesn’t have a problem with including cream ("cream lets you make a mistake") or blending meats and cheeses for more complex flavors. Below, the master shares his recipe for this iconic Roman dish.