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Amazing Spaghetti Carbonara!

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Spike, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Vincenzo is great. Keep it simple.
    I would honestly recommend making your own guanciale.
     
    AndyU likes this.
  2. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    One of only two foods I can’t get away with, jellied eels and tripe. Smoked eel is good keeled is not.
     
  3. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    not entirely my favourite food. Although i struggled with brain stew, dog, and tarantula (not in the same dish of course - or in the same country)
     
  4. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Try making Andouillette...
     
    earlofsodbury likes this.
  5. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Now here is the strange thing I actually like Andouillette! Well the times I’ve eaten it in Normandy.
     
    gavreid likes this.
  6. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    me too
     
  7. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Only had lambs brains in a Michelin starred restaurant in Normandy. Really enjoyed it. Wouldn’t even try the other two.
     
  8. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Secret to a quality carbonara is really good eggs. Thankfully we’ve our own chickens…
     
    gavreid likes this.
  9. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    I agree, Vincenzo is excellent and genuine. I’ve lived in Italy for the last decade; a critical feature of Italian cooking, that maybe isn’t obvious from the Jamie Oliver/UK perspective, is how local it is. There’s a mountain range down the middle of the country dividing it, transport is terrible and expensive, and each micro-region has its specialities. Nobody would eat Pasta alla Gricia where I live in the Veneto, it’s for those foreigners in Rome! The defining feature of Italian cooking is to use really fresh, very local ingredients cooked simply. There’s a really nice cookery book called “Francesca’s Plate” written by an Italian woman who ended up marrying into an Italian family who have a famous deli in Edinburgh. It’s fascinating how her cooking adapts to local ingredients while keeping the same values of simplicity and cucina povera.

    https://www.valvonacrolla.co.uk/dear-francesca-paperback
     
    PsB and Spike like this.
  10. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Sorry it’s Guanciale. No guanciale then it’s doomed from the start. Then eggs/pecorino.
     
  11. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    And I like the smaller diameter ones.
     
  12. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    "Crolla" is my favourite restaurant not to dismiss
    "il cucchiaio d'argento"!but I'll take a look at that book,I think it would suit my daughter as she spent
    some time in Italy.
     
    AndyU likes this.
  13. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    That's "Brasato." Should cook for 4-6 hours, with the beef in big slices.
     
  14. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    We’ll agree to disagree on that one I think!
     
  15. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Okay, every Italian who makes it must be wrong! Seems strange that money and time is invested in making guanciale when all they had to do was Chuck some nondescript bacon in an use the best eggs!
     
  16. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Let's not be too dogmatic. There is no "official" way which is right and the others wrong. You can use guanciale or pancetta. I even knew a lady, Italian, who made it with speck, which makes it a bit lighter and with a pleasant aroma. In Jewish restaurants in Rome they make it with "carne secca," which is a traditional air-dried beef that comes out looking like bacon. Some Italians find guanciale e bit disgusting.
     
    gintonic likes this.
  17. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    You’re missing the point, it was stated that eggs are the most important ingredient.
     
  18. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    The most important ingredient is the pasta.

    Cesare
     
    Spike likes this.
  19. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    we are effectively talking about some peasant dish here - some eggs from the smallholding, a bit of cured meat, small grate of cheese (if you are lucky) and of course some pasta. There is no one right set of ingredients.
     
    MikeMA likes this.
  20. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    Yes. And no.
    Yes, because it's a dish made from the generic ingredients you list.
    No because, but if you go back through old books on Italian cuisine, there is a dish called gricia (mentioned upthread) with its origins in the 17th Century or earlier, as something cooked by seasonally migrant/itinerant shepherds (who might even have been Swiss, rather than Italian!) who carried pecorino, cured pork (referenced as guanciale rather than pancetta), and lard, with them on their travels. Given the greater meat content of pancetta (and presumably, therefore, cost) compared to guanciale, it makes sense that it would be lard and guanciale they carried. Thus, if you're chasing the original, the cured meat should be guanciale, the cheese pecorino.
    If you go through Artusi (generally accepted as a good reference of Italian dishes up to the 19th century), there is no reference to carbonara, and no references to egg being added to cured meat in a pasta dish. The follow-on to gricia came in the 18th Century with the invention of tomato sauce: sugo all'amatriciana, which is gricia with tomato sauce, but still no egg.
    It is generally accepted that the first references to carbonara don't appear until the closing years of the Second World War or even the 1950s. There is a suspicion that the egg component came from US soldiers's rations (so processed egg, probably dried). In which case the specific ingredients, if you're chasing the original, do matter, and they would be guanciale and pecorino, and K ration processed eggs. Adding delicious, free range eggs, laid by lovingly tended chickens in cosy barns, is just a modern affectation.
     
    Spike, AndyU and Copperjacket like this.

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