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Leah’s Pasta alla Carbonara

Leah’s Pasta alla Carbonara

At long last I’m tying up a few loose ends from my April recipe quests, way back when I was testing recipes for cod au gratin, pasta alla carbonara, molten chocolate cakes and apple crisp. Over that month, I determined that the Canadian Living recipe for cod au gratin was just fine and needed no tweaking (although you could add onions if it suits your taste). And you can read my raves about David Lebovitz’s hot chocolate (aka molten chocolate) cake recipe, which needed no improving as far I was concerned. However, none of the recipes for pasta alla carbonara or...
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Mario Batali’s Pure Italian Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Mario Batali’s Pure Italian Spaghe

Mario Batali, the well known Italian-American chef, is a purist when it comes to his spaghetti alla carbonara. He uses eggs only–no cream–and offers instructions on how to cure your own hog jowls, should you want to go more authentic than bacon or pancetta. I opted for bacon, even though I used pancetta when testing Giada De Laurentiis’ version, because it’s the sauce I’m really interested in figuring out. How do I replicate the mouth-warming heartiness of the best carbonaras I’ve eaten? Batali’s recipe uses four separated...
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Penne alla Carbonara alla Giada De Laurentiis

Penne alla Carbonara alla Giada De Laure

I’ve always used bacon for carbonara, but for the kick-off of this quest, I decided to go all out and try the pancetta. I got it at the deli counter of a local grocery store (which is what, I believe, the Americans refer to as a supermarket). Lesson #1: Don’t say, “Whatever,” when they aske you how you want it sliced, or you’ll take the chance of winding up with something like this: It’s kind of hard to chop that into the one-inch cubes De Laurentiis calls for in her ingredient list. Well, mistakes at the deli counter or the cutting...
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Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla Carbonara

For me, pasta alla carbonara calls to mind a small town, nestled on a hillside surrounded by green farms abundant with laden fruit trees; a town where the bakeries outnumber the banks and the locals gather for long chats over produce stands. It was there that my love affair with this dish began, there in Villers-Bocage, Normandy. What’s that, you say? Are you sure it wasn’t a hillside near Rome, the reputed birthplace of carbonara? I had eaten pasta alla carbonara before in Canada, but had never found it so satisfying as the one at the little pizza and...