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Jan 9, 2013 12:59 PM

ISO the REAL Pasta alla Carbonara

Why is it almost IMPOSSIBLE to find a real Carbonara? That's pasta with pancetta (or guanciale) eggs (cooked on the hot pasta) and grated parmesan or romano cheese. That's it. NO CREAM. Simple simple. Anyone know if there's a place in NY that makes it with the traditional recipe?

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  1. Lupa has the best carbonara IMO.

    1. The carbonara at Otto is terrific. There's a generous amount of guanciale and the pasta is nicely al dente. (Assuming you like that - I do.) Peppery too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Martinez

        Agree. My friend had it when we ate there last week. It was perfect.

        1. re: Bob Martinez

          ohh ill have to try i was actually thinking about this dish the other day...i havent had it in a very long time

        2. I agree with the two places mentioned, Lupa and Otto. If you are going to red sauce Italian-American restaurants, you will get the stuff you are not looking for. You need to go to a restaurant that cooks in the style of Italy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            I could be mistaken and it's been a while since I have been to Otto, but don't they use green onions in their Carbonara?

            1. re: fourunder

              They may have, but that is not a deal breaker for me. As long as the sauce is nothing more than eggs, cheese and pasta water, and the dish has a good amount of black pepper, green onions are fine.

              If you click Bob Martinez' link up above, you will see what Otto's carbonara looks like. I don;t see any obvious green onions in it.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Looking at the picture, there does not appear to be any scallions, but I semi recalled the dish included them....and looking at the menu, it includes it as an ingredient.

          2. I heard they serve it in both Northern and Southern Italian restaurants.

            1. I think Morandi makes it the way you like it.
              However, i was reading this article and there are disagreements about what should be in carbonara. Some say guanciale not pancetta, some say no peas, some say in the North they use cream, etc They quote a few chefs Lidia , Batali, more

              2 Replies
              1. re: foodwhisperer

                You don't have to go any further than this site to read disagreements on what Carbonara should be. The following thread shows the passion others have and how they feel about the subject.


                In the following link Sophia Loren says they use cream in Italy...if she made it for me...I would eat it happily and acknowledge it to be authentic.