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what white wine is used in carbonara recipe

what is the best white wine to cook with when making a carbonara sauce?
asked Aug 8, 2014 by R Tillman

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1 Answer

True authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara has no wine or cream or anything other than the recipe Im providing. This assumes you want the REAL thing and not the Americanized restaurant versions. If that is what you are expecting based on prior tastings, the you will be surely disappointed. The American versions JAZZ it up because true carbonara is rather bland on its own. It has no sauce per se, so you have to make a base flavoring from the browned pancetta or slab bacon. FYI unless you really like pig jowl taste, you will NOT want to use guanciale which is what was used since this is peasant food and bacon is an American substitute. Pancetta in my humble opinion still gives the great flavor of pork without the taste of American breakfast bacon ( WHICH YOU CANT USE HERE by the way). The pan you fry in will contain all the rendered fat and brown bits which you will need when its time for the "sauce". So boil the pasta and drain but don't rinse it !! Put it in the frying pan with the pancetta or slab bacon, and stir in pepper and cheese until well coated as described below. The cheese and egg and residual pasta starch are what thicken the dish. I have read that Northern Italians add some cream to this dish, but knowing Italian history, the North was rich and south was poor so northern dishes tend to use more meats and dairy than southern dishes. Now, the American version that you have probably had is more closer to an Alfredo sauce than a Carbonara. Adding cream and even flour if your sauce is still thin, will essentially make the Americanized version I jokingly call Spaghetti alla Carbofredo. Im not being snobby but these are 2 very different dishes. Also Alfredo is a totally American Italian dish. It doesn't exist in authentic Italian continental cuisine. I love it nonetheless. Carbonara has a mythical history and lots of theoretical variations but the most popular and accurate etiology is that of the coal miners who brought left over pasta and cheese with them to the mines for lunch. As they ate, little flecks of coal dust would sometimes fall into their dishes. It looked like pepper, and they would also sometimes have some cured meat such as pancetta to eat along with the pasta. Well, when making this dish at home or on the job, they weren't going to add coal dust or flakes, of course. So the cooks used the pancetta or guanciale ( pig jowl bacon) that they had fried to almost crisp, and the little blackened or brown bits added to the illusion of coal dust, as does the black pepper. There was no way to really thicken this sauce in the mine, so it got its thickening touch in the kitchen with the use of an egg and the reserved pasta water. Remember this dish was made from leftovers not freshly cooked in the mine!!! The finishing touches that made it thick were the egg at the very end of the cooking stage, and the cheese and starchy pasta water. The idea of shepards making it in the fields was another version, which I don't see the relevance to the carbonara aspect. Carbon is the root word here as in coal. Well anyway enjoy and let me know what you think serves 4-6 1 pound dry spaghetti 4 fresh large eggs 8 ounces guanciale, pancetta or slab bacon, cubed 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Freshly cracked black pepper Sea salt Bring about 6 quarts of generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean) to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the meat is crispy and golden and has rendered its fat. Turn off the heat. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the cheeses until well-combined. When the pasta is done, reserve 1/2 cup of the water, then drain. Return the guanciale pan to medium heat, and add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan. Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for a few seconds until the bubbling subsides. Much of the water will evaporate Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture and stirring quickly until the eggs thicken. The residual heat will cook the eggs but work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a little bit more of the reserved pasta water. Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper. (Taste for seasoning: depending on the kind of pork used, it may not need any salt.) Divide the pasta into bowls and serve immediately.
answered Aug 14, 2014 by Gerry

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