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Carbonara

| 53 Comments

I love carbonara. It's fast, simple and cheap, yet very filling, warm and comforting. I generally don't like it when I get it at a restaurant which is surprising to me because it is so easy to make! Today we used bacon rather than pancetta for a few reasons. We have tried both in this dish, and I prefer bacon. Also at the store I went to, they didn't have the really good pancetta, only the thin round kind which I am not a fan of. Thirdly, we watched Giada at Home the other day and saw Aunt Raffi saying that when she is in the US, she uses bacon instead of pancetta because in the finished dish it tastes more "like it did back in Italy." Those are enough reasons for me, so here is my recipe for pasta in the style of the coal miner's wife.


We also made garlic bread. We make it different every time. Today it was very cheesy. Oh, and about the parsley, use flat leaf. It's sometimes hard to find here hence the curly.



Usually we use raw garlic on garlic bread. Sometimes we use roasted. Today we wanted to try cooking the garlic in butter for 5 minutes to remove the raw garlic flavor.







The butter garlic mixture with some parsley added.



Crushed red pepper on top and ready for the oven.



My favorite pasta for this dish is linguine. Bucatini (shown here) is a decent substitute and fun to use occasionally.



I slice the bacon in half the long way, and then cut small pieces the short way. This is one pound of bacon minus 6 pieces for breakfast tomorrow. Get thick sliced bacon.



When the bacon has about 7 minutes left, I drop the pasta and add a few pieces of diced onion to the bacon.



When the pasta has 1 minute left, add garlic to the bacon.



Work quickly now. Add the pasta right into the bacon/bacon fat.



cup and a half of cream and 4 eggs. The eggs have been sitting out for at least 4 hours so they are room temperature before cracking them and mixing with the cream. This is pretty important.



3/4 cup of parm.



Stir the pasta into the bacon for about 30 seconds.



This bowl has been warmed until you are just barely able to hold it. Dump the pasta in and quickly add the egg and cream mixture. Stir to combine. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs.



Add the parsley.



And cheese.



And keep stirring.



Yum.





Top with more parsley and cheese and cracked black pepper.





Recipe

Bring water to boil in pasta pot with salt.
Dice ¾ pound of bacon (or all if you want) and cook on med-high.
Meanwhile, mix 4 ROOM TEMP eggs with cup and a half of cream or half and half.
Dice parsley, grate parm, dice clove of garlic and ¼ of onion.
When bacon starts browning and looks like it could be almost done, add pasta to water and cook for 2 minutes less than box instructions.
Add onion to bacon with 5 minutes remaining on pasta.
Add garlic to bacon with one minute remaining on pasta.
Add pasta to bacon. Stir to coat.
Add pasta and egg mixture to warm bowl. Stir to coat.
Add parsley and cheese and keep stirring. Allow 5 minutes before serving.


53 Comments

I have to stop coming to this website. It's Food Porn.

i would eat this everyday, if i could.

Nononono! No cream in real carbonara! Heathen! NOOOOOOO.....

hey now PJ! haha yea i understand there isnt cream in REAL real real carbonara, but this is the way I like it. I have seen many recipes with cream in it, so dont you think heathen is a little strong of a word? I would have accepted infidel, skeptic, or unenlightened.... but heathen????

Last night, I made a real Bootleg version of this with chicken, too.

If you think Dan's a Heathen...

I used a pound of regular spaghetti, I fried up some garlic and butter for garlic bread and made garlic bread almost exactly like this, then fried up some shredded up bacon in that same pan, on top of the bacon, fat/grease and all, I added a store-bought jar of Bertolli Alfredo sauce and mixed all that around, and cooked up a package of store-bought pre-cooked grilled chicken and combined the bacon/alfredo/grease mix with the chicken and pasta and had cheesy garlic bread on the side. It was absolutely delicious and completely not good for you, but I was at least inspired from you, Dan, to sort of try to make this dish..

Rich - Im glad to inspire you to cook, even though what you made was in no way shape or form carbonara!

You really need a place to click where I can either print the recipes or archive them for myself, I'm sick of writing all these down!!! Looks awesome, it's what's for dinner tonight!!

Doesn't this dish usually have green peppers in it. Well if you don't make it that way you should try it at least once. I think it is pretty damn good with peppers.

My arteries hardened just lookin' at this dish, and I think I gained 10 virtual pounds. But I'm going cook it up anyway, it looks amazing. Might have to lay back off the butter & bacon oil though...thanks for sharing the tips on how to make a true cabonara!

YOU LEFT OUT THE BLACK PEPPER WHICH GIVES IT IT'S NAME CABONARA MEANS COALMINER THE BLACK PEPPER MIMICS THE COAL DUST

Bacon makes everything better. :-D

That is not linguine this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Linguine.jpg is linguine. You have some type of tube pasta abortion for pasta there. and You dont use cream that american degradation of delicious Italian food. This at best is a cream sauce with Bacon.

"That One Chef"...thanks for explaining what linguine is. That was very helpful. From above...

"My favorite pasta for this dish is linguine. Bucatini (shown here) is a decent substitute and fun to use occasionally."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucatini

kristen... um.... highlight the recipe, then right click and click on COPY. you see... that copies it to a little doodad called "the clipboard". then ... with windows, there is a little think called... WORD PAD. im not sure what its called on mac. but... if you are a windows person, click on wordpad in your accessories part of your programs list... a crazy little thing called a PAGE will pop up.. with the curser already blinking its little self at you. put your curser right nest to that little blinking thingy and right click your mouse...(thats the thing you control the curser with)... and you should get a watchamacallit with a bunch of words on it... take the curser down to the word that looks a lot like this PASTE and left click on that word and HAAZAA!!!!!!! YOU HAVE MASTERED THE ART OF COPY AND PASTE. then... you save that document.. name it whatever you want. generally, i find that naming it WHAT IT IS... like... oh.. i dont know.....
CARBONARA RECIPE.... works best for me. then that craaazy little recipe is on my computer so i can call it up at any time that it may interest me.... or.... i can click on PRINT.... AND HOOOO DIDDY....... YOU HAVE PRINTED THAT GODDAMN RECIPE.

technology. it gets away from us sometimes.

My son Zach just finished a high school paper on the history of Italian food and he says that carbonara doesn't mean coal miner it means charcoal maker. It seems that when the men left for the woods to make charcoal they took with them the ingredients (cheese, egg, garlic) and cooked it themselves. Zach has a recipe for Linguine Carbonara that uses Cheez Whiz instead of parmesan and tabasco instead of garlic and it is pretty good. If he wasn't so short he could be a TV chef one day!

people can be so rude!!!! I think the recipe is wonderful! I made it earlier for a dinner party and everyone loved it! I actually didn't make enough (I doubled the recipe for 6 people!!) and the garlic bread that way way a hit! Thanx for the recipe and great pictures

yummy timee

Bacon is meats candy :P

This recipe is pretty darn tasty. I make mine without the eggs, mostly because I hate it WITH the eggs, but I never ever stint on the cream. I love the so-called "purists" who scream about not putting cream in it; like, OMG you NEVER ever put cream in it, that's not how they do it in the old country. Who cares how they do it there? For god's sake, the entire carbonara dish was not even invented until the 1960s, and no one is really sure what country came up with it. I can add cream if I want.

I am surprised at the amount of butter, oil, & cream you have in your version of this recipe - I too am a butter-holic, but geeze man - you even got me on this one - feel free to see my version - it's a bit lighter without losing taste - I promise! fun reading too (yours) - thanks for sharing

What kind of cheese is on the Garlic Bread?

This is not carbonara

This is carbonara....

Take a couple of eggs, ditch one of the whites. Mix with a handful of parmesan and some pecorino, like a paste. RIGHT.

Take A LITTLE butter, then some slices of cheek, very thin, or parma ham if you have to use anything. NEVER BACON. Fry gently until crisp.

Cook some spaghetti, al dente.

Toss spaghetti in the pork scented butter. Add a sppon of the cooking watter. Now add the egg mix, toss. Do not scramble.

Now sprinkle some cheese, serve with the bacon on top.

Do not serve with nasty gunk cheese garlic mess sticks.

What you just made is why America is so fat and nasty. sorry.

I laugh when i see people criticize Carbonara recipes. I made a video on Youtube of a Carbonara recipe and some people went apesh*t over that fact that I called it that. I even tried telling them it was MY VERSION...no one had a copyright on a recipe... lighten up people!!

You did a lovely job on this :)

LOL on the copy paste comment...

I was excited to stumble on this to have my 'Italian' GF make this. She is always on the hunt for new Italian inspired dishes to prepare.
But with the fat content looming on myocardial infarction levels I am going to move on.
Does look tasty though.

This looks so good! I found bucatini in my local grocery store and was looking for recipes that used it. Btw, I can't stand reading comments from so-called purists. They have the worst attitudes towards new recipes. Bah! You have a great site here, keep up the great work :)

Can't believe I missed this ... must have been before I started reading. One of my favorite pasta dishes—even though it's not the healthiest, I still love it too! I learned how to make Carbonara in Spain ... instead of bacon/prosciutto we used chorizo and in place of parmesan we subbed manchego. It was an awesome "Spanish version" and the chorizo gave the whole thing a really beautiful, warm color. PS: I love bucatinni!

don't mind all that people that have nothing to do (or cook) than criticize. i strongly believe that in the kitchen you should be free to do whatever u like, to innovate, to combine, to improvise. if all the great chefs in history would have been so narrow-minded and if they would have sticked to the known recepies some great creations would never have been born. besides, food is literally a matter of taste!

No offense, but you wouldn't get criticism if you called the dish something else. Call me a purist but real carbonara does not contain bacon or cream or onions, and any self-respecting italian would not be caught dead within a mile of that cheese-covered bread.

I don't think its a big deal or anything, its just that sometimes names do mean something. Just as bleu cheese made outside of roquefort cannot be called roquefort, and sparkling wine made outisde of champagne cannot be called champagne, I think its a little silly to get mad at people raising perfectly good points. Call your dish 'onion and bacon pasta cream sauce with ridiculously overcheesed garlic bread' and you will not receive any of the (constructive) criticism.

That said, the recipe looks ridiculously good. Loads of people enjoy sparkling wine and bleu cheese, after all ;D

except all the Italian people I know who do cook it this way and put cheese on everything

It's cool to speak for all Italians tastes right?
Because we all know that everyone in Italy cooks the same way and eats the same foods. There's no such thing as regional, familial, or simply personal preferences.

People,

Shut up and eat. I'm from the east coast of the US where pizza is...awesome. Today (I'm living in London now) I saw a recipe for 'pizza' in a newspaper consisting of: bagel, marmite (ew), KETCHUP, and mozzarella.

Did I scream IMPOSTER at the newspaper, wad it in a ball, throw it on the floor, spit on it, and insult its mother?

No. I said wow, what an interesting *regional* way of making pizza. And then I turned the page. Not my style, but someone else's interpretation. Cooking is an art, and artists create from their predecessors to inspire!

Looks/sounds great!!! Can't wait to try :]

Cheers!

Tiff

(ps--in my italian-american family to spice things up a bit, we blacken some either whole or crusheddried chili peppers in EVOO and eat with our pastas--you like spice, give it a try! When you blacken the whole and eat, sometimes its like Russian Roulette--some are spicy, some are SPICY.)

I know this is from a couple years back, but I just had to comment on this post because I felt the attacks aimed at your carbonara were ridiculous. I grew up in Italy, Rome to be exact (where pasta a la carbonara comes from), and one close family friend's (read: real Italian person) recipe includes cream (duh duh duh). Granted, it's not a lot of cream (around 1/4 cup) but it is there. Also, they don't include any egg white. So, people saying that the "real Italian" way doesn't ever include cream is just wrong. And bacon is a legitimate substitution for pancetta.

This is not Carbonara!

Americans who are "fat and nasty" are that way because they don't exercise and eat cheap processed foods instead of cooking fresh food themselves. That isn't all of us, by the way.

Looks amazing! Great step by step photography

Don't think I have said yes so many times while looking at photos that were not consisting of naked people LMAO!

I find this page easy to masturbate to...

For some reason I kept reading the comments..long after things got out of hand and luckily things began to come back into focus once I got to "Tiffy's" comment. (Sept 13, 2011)
I agree with that point of view, wholeheartedly!
Cooking IS an art and while I "get" that a recipe is a recipe....There are many, many variations of the same recipe.
In fact..if it weren't for trial and error or people simply experimenting in the kitchen using the root recipe's..there wouldn't be ANY new recipe's at all! This is how cooking is done! Trying new things.
Perhaps we can avoid offending recipes or those who feel the need to stand up for recipes..by simply opening with:
This recipe was inspired by "ABC Recipe." Or..I used the root of ABC recipe but made some changes..
Sadly, we have to tailor our words to avoid conflict in many aspects of our lives..But now, as it seems,
even in the kitchen.
***and for the record..I thought the recipe sounded good, but for ME..I would be unable to bring myself to put delicious, fresh cooked pasta into a pan of bacon grease.
BUT AGAIN, that's just me! ...and because of this..perhaps I too would make an alteration to this or any other recipe that called for such a drastic move. OR perhaps, I would say..hmm this recipe does sound pretty good, but maybe it's not for me and leave it at that.

Wow, this looks great! I have actually never heard of carbonara before, but I think it's something I want to try. And very soon, yum!

IT NEEDS A POACHED EGG ON TOP!!!

I'm 8 weeks pregnant and have the worst morning sickness. This looks totally amazing. As soon as I am able, I'm going to make this.

Wow! Great recipe! It's fantastic!

Hi another Italian speaking. This is a curious Carbonara but you can do it as you want, as long as you like it, it's OK for me.
I don't do it in this way but that's OK. Interesting.

Just made this with my mom. we used the whole pound of bacon and added a little more cheese and it was YUMMY!!!

Delicious...I'll try the recipe1 Thanks for sharing!

This was absolutely delicios. We ate the whole thing between us. And we were two people.

A great recipe. So many people I know struggle with carbonara and end up overcooking it and sending the sauce all lumpy. Thanks.

Looks like you've never been to Italy before, Ben... Talk about a melting pot of recipes and local styles..."Self-respecting Italians?"... get a grip. Italians (the ones that LIVE in Italy and don't speak English, or Soprano-Italian, put cheese(and many many varieties, I might add...) on just about anything, and varied as to their regional locale. Do Americans lose their minds when Japanese put seafood on their pizza? Or when McDonald's has Japanese-themed food on their menus in Japan? Nope... we just roll with it and enjoy the ride! You must live in NYC where they think their !@#$ doesn't stink. Get out of your "Americanist" view of the world, live a little. ;)

Mmmmh! great and very testy pasta. I really like pasta.

Hi everybody, I'm an italian, living in Italy, in Milano, to be precise. It was real nice to read all your comments, specially the last ones. So, i agree, the real carbonara, typical from Rome, is done only with guanciale (the cheek of the pork), eggs, pecorino and good olive oil. The right pasta to use is spaghetti. But i agree in saying that everybody can vary the recipe in the way that he feels, for example, when i cook carbonara i like to fry pancetta (because guanciale is hard to find also in Milano) with onion; i don't use garlic and parsley; and i personally don't like cream (but not only in carbonara, in every pasta dish)....when my cousins do carbonara they absolutly put cream in it...it really depends on the tastes! Anyway my compliments, maybe i will try some parsley next time, and if you find pecorino cheese, i suggest you to try it instead of parm :D a quick note to "ithinkimturningjapanese": italians put olive oil on just about anything, not cheese...

This is definitely not a carbonara but looks good

Uh..I'm sold. I'll bet my son will love this too. But, honestly, you had me with that bread! I really don't understand why food recipes have to be turned into contentious debates. Does it taste good? I'll bet it does!

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