About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Prosciutto and Cream Sauce | Main | Bolognese Meat Sauce »

Carbonara Sauce

One of the things that I most enjoy about Marcella’s cookbook is the time that she has taken to include interesting historical references along with the recipes. With this one she mentions that Carbonara sauce may have been invented right after WWII, when the American soldiers that were stationed there wanted a sauce made with bacon and eggs. Interesting idea, but whichever way it came to be invented it is a great sauce.

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I made mine today with spaghetti noodles. Marcella says that you can make this with either bacon or pancetta, so for this first time I thought I would use pancetta. It is a simple sauce with whole cloves of garlic sautéed in olive oil and then removed after they became brown. I made the mistake of throwing them away and Michael about had an apoplectic fit. I won’t be doing that in the future! Apparently garlic is his new favorite snack! Next you brown the pancetta and add some wine to cook for a short time. In the bowl for the finished product mix eggs, grated Romano cheese, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh parsley. I used pasteurized eggs again because I am a wimp. I know that the pasta is hot enough to cook the eggs when it is mixed together, but I always prefer to be safe where salmonella is concerned. The next step is to add the pancetta mixture into the pasta and mix well.

This was another of our late night dinners. Michael had just come home from a long day at the store, and I had been cooking all day for our 4th of July dinner. This sauce went together quickly and we managed to sit down and have a nice dinner before he collapsed for the night and I went back to clean the kitchen!


Comments (5)

Beth, I want to eat this right now! I think I am joining Deborah's pasta for breakfast club! The pancetta looks beautifully browned by the way.

Yummmy. By chance, might this be on the Valentine's Day menu next year at the Fenton store? hint, hint :grin:

BTW, Beth -- knowing that you are a biologist who makes her living as a research scientist, makes me take your concerns about salmonella seriously.

Marcella Hazan:

My former editor made me put in a caveat about salmonella in the recipe, but I refuse to cook in fear. In my life I have made gallons of mayonnaise (can you see me ever using Hellman's), and scores of carbonaras, and any other dish that calls for a raw egg.

There are other versions of carbonara around, some that dilute the punch by beating raw yolks into heavy cream. I don't agree. This is an example of the gutsy Roman taste in food, and it should stay gutsy. In Rome, if they are not using smoked pancetta (bacon), they would be more likely to use guanciale- jowl bacon - rather than standard pancetta. Guanciale is not yet a staple grocery item in this country, but you can track it down and order it online. Mine comes from the Salumeria Biellese in NYC. Guanciale is very tasty, but I don't know that it is worth all the fuss some of the blogs have made. I like a good quality pancetta just as much.

Good job, Beth!

I too am enjoying the historical references.

Marta:

I'm really enjoying scrolling though the results of all the great recipes in "Essentials". This is the ONLY carbonara sauce recipe I've ever used and it's likely to remain that way. I'll never forget the first time a friend made it for me. I'd never had this combination before and I was thrilled and fascinated with the flavor.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 4, 2010 8:00 AM.

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