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Are you making a specialty food?

I need of Pasta Carbonara.

Fryboy May 14, 2008 12:12 PM

I recently returned from a trip to Italy, where I had some of the best food of my life. After you have fresh pasta, you can't go back. It inspired me to try and make my own...very soon. If you are a foodie, Italy is a must visit. Now I'm jonesin' for some good Carbonara. Any recommendations?

  1. Frommtron May 15, 2008 08:47 PM

    They do one at La Dolce Vita a la minute as well and it was very nice both times I had it. They use pancetta for their version and I'll agree with notmartha that pancetta versions are all over Italy, which illustrates precisely why I stay far away from any arguments regarding "authenticity."

    1. l
      larud9233 May 14, 2008 08:14 PM

      Dominick's, done the old fashioned way, with real panchetta, cream, egg, a la minute.

      3 Replies
      1. re: larud9233
        cdmedici May 14, 2008 09:24 PM

        CREAM!! No no no. Pancetta?...guanciale is the real deal.

        1. re: cdmedici
          a_and_w May 15, 2008 11:21 AM

          Agreed -- cream in the carbonara is my #1 complaint with most versions I've tried. Can folks clarify which places just use the egg?

          1. re: cdmedici
            notmartha May 15, 2008 07:41 PM

            True, but even in Italy pancetta is an allowed subsitution. Normally it is just with raw eggs, but when I cooked it at home, I found that adding 1-2 TBSP of fresh cream along with 2 eggs makes a great combo and much more silky texture. As long as the dish contains mostly eggs, and not just onion, pancetta, cream, parm, romano and no egg (why was the cheese missing from the above list?)

        2. Fryboy May 14, 2008 07:09 PM

          Thanks for the suggestions. I will try them all. I couldn't find Carbonara on the menu at the Farfalla website. Is it an off the menu item?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fryboy
            rednyellow May 14, 2008 07:10 PM

            it is not on their menu. when I'm in the mood for it, I phone ahead and ask if they can make it that night. So far they have always said yes.

          2. s
            ssakulsky May 14, 2008 06:29 PM

            La Buca on Melrose, hands down the best...

            1. rednyellow May 14, 2008 04:18 PM

              Farfalla on Hillhurst does not have it on their menu, but usually will make it and does a very fine job too.

              1. hrhboo May 14, 2008 01:07 PM

                I adore the version on Lucques' bar menu

                1 Reply
                1. re: hrhboo
                  holleygolitely May 14, 2008 01:57 PM

                  Very authentic carbonara at Cafe Bella Roma SPQR

                  Cafe Bella Roma
                  1513 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                2. n
                  New Trial May 14, 2008 12:38 PM

                  Enoteca Drago. Best I've had in L.A.

                  Enoteca Drago
                  410 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: New Trial
                    BHAppeal May 14, 2008 02:04 PM

                    I second Enoteca Drago for carbonara. Really excellent.

                    1. re: BHAppeal
                      notmartha May 14, 2008 09:08 PM

                      Third that one. Closest to Italy that I've tried. Carbonara isn't generally made with fresh pasta though, and it's actually pretty easy to make a version better than most restaurants in LA (just requires the top ingredients).

                      1. re: notmartha
                        a_and_w May 15, 2008 11:20 AM

                        Good point re the dry pasta -- there seems to be a common misconception that dry pasta is somehow inferior or inauthentic. Quite the opposite is true.

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          notmartha May 15, 2008 07:38 PM

                          Yes, depends on the dish/sauce. I had a fresh pasta carbonara at Craft's and it just doesn't do the trick as the ultra al dente dried pasta. On the other hand boar ragu is great with fresh pappardelle.

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