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Reheating spaghetti carbonara?

I just made spaghetti carbonara for the first time last night (yummy!), but I have plenty of leftovers. What's the best way to reheat it? I usually reheat pasta dishes in a covered pan with a little water for steam. Should I add another egg so it's not so dry? Thanks!

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  1. I have had zero luck reheating carbonara without it becoming dry or breaking down...I either eat it at room temperature or chop it up and make a frittata with it. I am anious to hear if anyone else has a better idea (though the frittata is very good).

    1 Reply
    1. There is no good way to reheat it. It's one of those dishes that's just not meant to be reheated. There are dishes that are not good reheated - this is one of them.

      The least worst way to reheat it - and the only one I would say might make it passably eatable - is to put it in a plastic bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible, put it in a bowl and run hot tap water over it. Hot tap water is unlikely to cook the egg proteins too much further (unless you are one of those people who has the hot water heater set to 140F or more).

      Whatever you do, don't let it near a microwave.

        1. Reheating is going to change the character. It will set the eggs long before the cheese starts to melt. The flavors are still there; but you can't recreate the sauce (especially if you used just eggs and cheese).

          Still I don't mind eating leftovers. Go ahead and taste it cold. You could also warm single servings in the microwave - just enough to take the edge of the cold off. Or you could embrace the change - for example fry it in a nonstick skillet, either as uniform cake or stirred. Let it get dry and crisp around the edges.

          1. I usually finish off my carbonara over a bain marie cause I like the sauciness that extra egg gives, but the sauce just doesn't firm up like it should.

            perhaps add a touch of milk or cream, then reheat over a bain marie, stirring constantly and taking off heat if you even have the slightest inkling the eggs are going to curdle.

            1. i have enountered this many times. i fry it in a cast iron with butter........the eggs will harden it but thats ok. add a table spoon of water or so to keep the pasta moist.

              1. Give it to the cat and make a new batch. What will it cost? $2?
                Now you know how much to make right? Make less next time.

                4 Replies
                1. re: rockhopper

                  I usually add a little cream and warm it slowly on the stovetop..works for me.

                  1. re: rockhopper

                    OMG, the CAT? We fight over the leftovers at my house. It tastes great at room temperature.

                    1. re: visciole

                      You and the cat fight over the leftovers? This is SCREAMING for YouTube!

                      Seriously, tho, I agree with everyone else that you just eat it cold or let it warm up to room temp. Even more than fried foods, there's not much going back here.

                      1. re: dmd_kc

                        Yeah, I have a few scratches but at least I won! (licking my paws.)

                  2. I find the best way is to heat it in a skillet with butter to start and add a little cream as you stir, over a medium-low heat.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jpratherr

                      But adding butter or cream would make render it no longer carbonara. Butter/cream goes in alfredo, not carbonara.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        One could argue that any left over carbonara is no longer carbonara, no matter how it is reheated - that is, if carbonara is defined as pasta mixed with egg and cheese with a minimum of additional heat.

                        So the issue isn't how to reheat it so it is still carbonara, but how to reheat it so it tastes good.

                        1. re: paulj

                          Well, yes, see my original reponse to the OP....

                    2. Why not just steam it (as you would steam veggies)?

                      1. There is little to add to what has already been said, but here goes. The mind boggles at the very idea of leftover carbonara. Its very nature requires delicate handling and immediate serving. Nevertheless, the two time-honored methods of handling leftover pasta can still be applied. One of these is the frittata. It's a little redundant, what with there being egg already on the pasta, but at least there won't be any conflict. Beat the eggs in a bowl, mix in the pasta till it's well coated, and pour into a pan which you have been gently heating some oil. The other is, in the infinitive, ripassare in padella. Heat some oil in a pan (butter would be permissible with carbonara) and sauté the pasta until it's warm. At the point when you are thinking about adding more guanciale or more eggs, you should just throw it away and make fresh. There is no point in doing major doctoring.

                        1. If you don't need it piping hot maybe just spread it out as much as possible on a plate & nuke it at 50% power for short intervals, maybe stirring every 30 seconds or so. It won't be like when you first made it but at least not ice cold either.

                          1. You could turn it into a pasta gratin. Mix it with besciamella (besciamel?) sauce, put it into a butter baking/gratin dish and sprinkle with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and bread crumbs, and bake until it's warmed through.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: msmarabini

                              I bake it and sprinkle parm or breadcrumbs as well. Makes it sorta like a mac'n cheese combo.

                            2. This is an emulsified sauce like Brenaise or Hollandise. This requires mixing two ingrediants that do not match well like butter and eggs. Albeit, many use a blender the true form is that of a double boiler. This allows a slow steady controlled heat (with constant stirring and supervision) so that the eggs to do not "scramble" in your butter; an ice bath should be on the side to stop the cooking process if the eggs begin to scramble. This is the olnly true method that will allow you to add a little cream and butter and save your dish. Slowly add the ingrediants over the slow boiling water and stir while constanly watching. The slow stedy heat will not seperate butter,cheese, and egg if used. Gordon David Harrtoning

                              1. it is possible in a microwave. heat for 1 minute with power level set to 20%. remove, stir, heat another minute, remove, stir etc.... i usually do about 3 minutes total.... warm, creamy, and delicious... as if i just made it. gotta love technology :)

                                1. For one portion of leftovers, I added a couple of teaspoons of olive oil then added the leftovers mixed with a half cup of boiling water. Stirred for a couple of minutes in a wok pan on high heat and re-seasoned it and was just as good at when freshly made :)