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Carbonara Sauce! No Cream and Ham Please- Episode 9

By Patrick

Carbonara sauce! Cheese, Fat, Eggs, Fat! You said fat twice. “I like fat”

Walk in to way to many restaurants and pizza shops and ask for Carbonara and you will get a heaping bowl of creamy cheese sauce with ham mixed in. Now I have had this shameful version on a few occasions and it has been good only because well cheesy cream sauces can be awesome- However it is really Fake Alfredo sauce with ham thrown in- no difference(real Alfredo sauce does not have cream either..but that is another episode). The real Carbonara has no cream or ham but has Pancetta, eggs and cheese-YUMMY! Pancetta you say- Yup an Italian version of bacon that comes rolled, cured with salt, black pepper and sometimes nutmeg, garlic and hot pepper-NOT SMOKED.Can’t find Pancetta locally- no problem do a quick google search and a whole bunch of speciality shops will be happy to ship it to you. Bacon is not a substitute- however you can make a tasty dish with it. This is a fairly quick dish to make with the key being the slow render of the Pancetta fat- Hey some things in life require tasty fat-Besides me, Carbonara does also.

  • Gary

    This looks great. I’ll have to keep an eye open for Pancetta. Looks like a great weeknight, quick meal.

    Thanks again, Pat. Keep it coming.

  • JP

    Good stuff Pat!! I’ve noticed that many restaurants use the more intesely flavored bacon instead of pancetta. I’ve never tried carbonara largely becauce others would say to me, ‘why don’t you order something better?’ I’m looking foward to making it after seeing how you made it.

  • TheDumbPhase

    Pancetta makes anything taste good. Not a big Carbonara guy but might give this a try. Good stuff bud!

  • Gary

    Found an awesome Italian deli yesterday. Grabbed some pancetta and other assorted sausages, cheeses, pastas, geez, desserts…..blew about $75 when all was said and done. Glad I just went in the “check it out” and didn’t have anything in particular in mind.

    Anyway, grabbed a slab of pancetta and will try this recipe this week. Probably Tuesday. I got spicy pancetta thinking that would remove the need for the red pepper flakes.


  • kevin

    Will try this myself. Love the beginning (your own twist on the word, Carbonara), I am known to make up my own words and my woman is always correcting me… “oh good Lord” great reply. I normally just say, “it’s all the same thing”. Lol!

  • TimF

    Was that homemade pasta? You need to do an episode on that.

  • admin

    I will do that for sure- That was not though- I will do one with the Kitched Aid pasta attachment and without

  • KrisBelucci

    I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

  • admin

    Be my guest- Glad you liked it

  • Gary


    Finally got around to making this dish tonight. Holy crap was it good. I bought a spicy pancetta, and it WAS spicy. Very good, but I will be doing this again with a regular pancetta.

    Not sure what TimF is talking about when he says he wants Italian dishes. This IS Italian, and damn it is good.

    Keep ‘em coming.


  • admin

    Glad you liked it- I have not had a real spicy Pancetta- interesting I will have to seek one out- there are some dishes where I think that would be real good in- I got TimF covered with his Eye Talian dishes soon-

  • RedRum

    That was ok but there is a bit more technique, in order to make the sauce creamy and for the eggs not to scramble. you need to add to the egg/cheese mix a bit of the pasta water to tamper the temperature of the mix, so the eggs do not curdle. The starch from the pasta water will also give the sauce creaminess. I saw your eggs were a bit scrambled…

  • admin

    RedRum- excellent tip adding some of the pasta water to the eggs a little at a time will def. help prevent th eggs from scrambling- a few tablespoons should do it-Also I ground my cheese too large which kept it from incorporating completely in the final sauce-