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Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara recipe

I tend to stick to her bolognese and pesto recipes when it comes to pasta, but tried her spaghetti carbonara recipe over the weekend. It's terrific. Significantly lighter than some other carbonaras I have had in the past (which are still delicious, but feel like a heart attack on a plate).

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  1. hers is the recipe i use. couldn't agree more.... it's perfect.

    1. what is the difference in her recipe, may I ask?

      2 Replies
      1. re: alex8alot

        My husband makes a version with two whole eggs, two egg yolks, and cream. It's delicious, but oh so heavy. The Hazan's recipe has two eggs and no cream. It also has a mix of parmesan and romano (1/2 cup parmesan and 1/4 cup romano) that I think gives it a nice bite and flavor that parmesan-only recipes don't have.

        1. re: alex8alot

          Another difference that no one has yet mentioned: after crisping the pancetta, she deglazes the skillet with white wine, which provides refreshing acidity and another layer of flavour.

        2. thanks for the quick reply! No cream... and it still tastes good... I will give it a shot. Does she use pancetta or any pig?

          1 Reply
          1. re: alex8alot

            Pancetta (if you can get it) or bacon.

          2. I love that recipe - it's a great "there's nothing in the house to eat recipe" - I can usually dig up spaghetti, eggs, parmesan and pancetta (and have used bacon if I'm out of pancetta). I don't think the dish needs cream.

            1. I agree. It's better without the cream. Concerning the eggs: Has anyone seen a recipe (or tried it themselves) using just the egg yolks (in addition to the other igredients)?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Summerfield

                I always use just the egg yolks and no cream. I don't have a "set" recipe anymore, as I've made it enough to know the basics for however much pasta I'm making. Sautee the bacon/pancetta until crispy, drain then crumble. while that's draining, I sautee some chopped onion until soft and add some minced garlic, return the crumbled bacon to the pan to keep warm, add any herbs I'm in the mood for (usually fresh chopped parsley and fresh sage if I have it) and peas or asparagus to heat through if I'm doing a veggie version. I add the bacon pan to the drained hot spaghetti and toss a bit. I beat the egg yolks until a bit creamy, add a bit of the hot spaghetti to temper, then add the eggs to the pasta and toss like a madwoman. Dinnertime!

                1. re: weezycom

                  One thing I like about the Marcella recipe, as I recall it, is that you cook some garlic in the oil, and then remove it, so you get the flavor of garlic, w/o the actual pieces.

                  1. re: weezycom

                    Does sauteeing pancetta require olive oil to do the job or does it sautee in its own fat?

                    1. re: Summerfield

                      The recipe calls for sauteeing the pancetta in 3 tablespoons of olive oil (the previous poster was correct that you first saute a split clove of garlic until it is golden, scoop that out, and saute the pancetta in the oil).