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« Covered in chocolate from head to toe: coffee beans | Main | A healthy candy: liquorice »

March 29, 2004


Christian Castanyer

This is impressive,
Somewhere you can spend two years or more talking about pasta alla carbonara!!!
The power of the net.
I love you all.
PD: I agree with both, but I'd rather use gerard's way of cooking.

Christian Castanyer


Don't forget the recipe to make fresh Spaghetti !!!

Ciao, Bello !!



thanks for the comments. As far as spaghetti go, I'm sure one could prepare them fresh, but they really are a pasta kind that is meant to be driy for long storage and unless one has proper drying facilities I'd better leave that to the pro's :-).

Christian Castanyer

Hello Alberto, good morning!!

Yes, you're right better leave it for the pro's ( it takes too long anyway...)
I am not a pro and I don't want to be a pro either, I just looooooove cooking (and that's because I like eating good),I never thought that cooking a simple dish like carbonara could become so interesting. The other day I made it stir-frying the spaghetti with the cured pancetta(once cooked and out of heat) a bit of grated garlic and then added the mixture of:
-two egg yolks and a whole egg(very large)
-60g(1/3 parmigiano 1/4 pecorino
-crushed black pepper
and it was amazing!!! It might not be the original way, but the stir-frying thing worked pretty well, you gotta try it!!!

Kind regards to you, bambino!!

CAUTION: do not stir-fry the mixture just add it and stir it gently when still hot.

Christian Castanyer


Forgot to mention the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the mixture...



Christian, thanks for sharing your method. I can see how stir fry would work. I'll definitely give it a try, but I guess I'll leave the garlic ;-).

If you're surprised about the length of the discussion, you should put four italians round a table and ask them for a recipe for: Bolognese ragu, carbonara, amatriciane or similar popular pasta sauces. You'd have them discussing for days at a time, all in good spirit clearly :-).

Elliott Winslow

Excuse the "late" post -- but as someone noted, the Internet is independent of the travel of time.

I was looking, not for carbonara, nor pasta, nor anything to eat at all, but ... for Gerard! Just after telling someone about our initial meeting, "just" 11 or so years ago. His English is a lot better now, he used to give up in frustration, but now he gets his point across. At least I'm pretty sure I get it!

Which I think here is: the starting point, Tradition. In the case of carbonara, it appears to be core ingredients. Certainly in some places you just can't get what you'd want, and you can indeed substitute and do quite well. So when are you talking about something else?

I used to work at the chess federatioin, upstate New York. I had no car, mostly stayed late and read foreign chess magazine into the night, ordering from the local Italian restaurant (and I think they were indeed Italian), baked cheese ravioli. (You see how far afield I am here, I don't even *eat* meat!) It was an abomination, awash in some amorphous cheese, but it was pretty tasty, and I wasn't unhappy with the result.

Fast forward to last week, I was in Las Vegas working, also, as an editor, (with someone Gerard and I know) on a book on poker (we games types can't make up our minds), and since again there was no car, at the mercy of the delivery joints. I was hesitant when X told me that the pizza place was owned and run by Bulgarians; the delivery guy was burly and smiling, maybe ex-KGB (or Darzhavna Sigurnost, whatever), I didn't care! But the ravioli was insignificant to the tub of spaghetti on which it isletted. It was bad. Beyond bad. Inappropriate for this discussion. The point is, it wasn't what it claimed to be. (Eggplant parmesan was worse, after which I gave up. But at least it wasn't like it was at the Greek diner near the train station in Philadelphia, where we all went after the rounds at the World Open years ago, back to chess, it took me three days eating E.P. before I found the bacon laced into it. So that's why it was so tasty!)

So at some point you have to rename what you're making. In honor of the things fed to animals these days, I propose fluorocarbonara.

And now... I'm so hungry! I'm in Santa Cruz, Mexican and Asian. Ah, I know an Italian restaurant...

Elliott Winslow

Re-reading, I note that Stefano (who never posted again) clearly says "ratios of pepper and pecorino (keep the parmiggiano out of this recipe) are equal - about 50g per person."

More dispute!

Stefano, if you're lurking, note that my favorite pizza place in New York City, run by Italians (not Puerto Ricans!), had walls covered with maps and pictures of Ischia. Now I have to remember where it was! Either St. Marks Place and 2nd Avenue, or in Jackson Heights. I remember the man, a small, wiry guy, I talked to him a bit about the island. How the threads go...


Elliott, thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes, we who love food end up arguing about details, like the preference for pancetta vs guanciale, and we forget what atrocities are sold under a name that totally misrepresents the dish it should be. Your point about changing names when the recipe changes is IMO absolutely spot on.

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