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Apr 19, 2009 12:47 PM

spaghetti alla carbonara

I'm looking at three recipes for spaghetti alla carbonara. Mario Batali calls for 8 ounces guanciale or pancetta and 4 eggs per pound of pasta. Tyler Florence calls for 4 ounces of pancetta and 2 eggs per pound of pasta and Anne Burrell calls for 3/4 cup of pancetta and 8 eggs per pound of pasta. The variance in the amount of pancetta and eggs is really throwing me. How much do you use?

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  1. Based on a friend's recommendation, I switched to only using egg yolks in my carbonara, no whites, so my measurements are going to be quite a bit different due to the volume change. For a full pound of pasta, I would probably use 6-8 yolks and about 6-8 ounces of pancetta (or closest to Battali's recipe) That's a lot of pasta to coat.

    1. I suspect it's all a matter of taste but when it comes to Italian food, of those three, I would pick Batali's choice.
      Try it and see.

      1. I cook for one and Mario Batali's ratio works for me; it's what I regularly use. Seems to me that with his background in Italy, he'd also have the inside scoop on carbonara. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcsheridan

          i agree the batali ratio is the one thats closest to my personal preferance

        2. I'll muddy the water further and give the link for Hazan's carbonara which many here think (me too) is the best:

          Just make sure you add any cream (or at least don't confess to it) or people will get upset :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: c oliver

            Thanks everyone! 8 eggs clearly seems to be too much. I think I'll use 3 or 4 eggs and six ounces of pancetta. Definitely no cream!

          2. I use only egg yolks, and vary my proportions.

            The Silver Spoon, another Italian reference resource, gives the following:

            2T butter
            heaping 1/2 cup pancetta, diced
            1 garlic clove
            12 oz spaghetti
            2 eggs, beaten
            1/2 cup each Parmigiano & Romano cheeses
            Salt & pepper

            Cooks Illustrated Issue 52 has the following ingredients for one pound of spaghetti:

            1/4 cup EVOO
            1/2 lb bacon
            1/2 cup dry wine
            3 large eggs
            3/4 cup Parmigiano
            1/4 cup Romano
            3 garlic cloves
            Salt & Pepper