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Feb 18, 2013 01:39 PM

Kosher spaghetti carbonara?

Does anyone have a spaghetti carbonara recipe that is pork-free, and still delicious?

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  1. I think you have two choices - if you want it to be Milchig I would at using Bacon salt to get the Bacon flavor while still being pareve so you can have cheese -

    If you planning to keep it Fleischig then I substitute a good quality beef fry or lamb bacon - here in Chicago Romanians makes an excellent beef fry

    5 Replies
    1. re: weinstein5

      I would also recommend giving smoked goose a try - quite popular in Israel to give dishes some of that flavor.

      1. re: cresyd

        Kosher goose is nigh impossible to find in the US, and I've literally never seen kosher smoked goose in the US.

        I would use the Morningstar Farms facon, if I were making it...and I have to some acclaim. Liquid smoke works alright for kicking up the smokiness. The cream/butter/hard cheese is more important than actual meat, imo.

        1. re: DeisCane

          I've always had better experiences with fake meat than fake dairy. For the bacon replacement, I add generous amounts of liquid smoke, salt and molasses to just enough water to cover chopped up tempeh. The tempeh is sauteed on its own and added just at the end.

          1. re: DeisCane

            So DeisCane, I think you have the right approach. Could you post an abbreviated recipe?

          2. re: cresyd

            The original treif Carbonara should be made with guanciale and not bacon. Guanciale is pork jowl cured with rosemary and other spices, it is a very fatty item and the cured fat and spices is what flavors the carbonara. Taking goose or duck breast, the fattier the better, and following a guanciale curing procedure should work great. You can find a recipe to work from in Ruhlman's book Charcuterie.

        2. I have thought in detail about this. I think the best way to approach it is to make with fresh shitake mushrooms, and good cheese, eggs, and pepper. Mushrooms are meaty without giving an off taste and the rest of it is spot on.
          Sautee onions in butter or olive oil until soft, season with salt and pepper.
          Add sliced shitakes with stems removed. saute briefly and add salt, pepper, and more oil if needed.
          Meanwhile, boil de cecco pasta- or fresh if you can get it. fettucine works the best. when pasta is done, FIRST add copious amounts of freshly shaved romano cheese, mix well and add a lot of cracked pepper. then add the mushrooms and a raw egg. the heat from the pasta will cook the egg and leave you with a nice coating on the pasta. as good or better than the treif version.

          1. so for staff meal, we render our beef bacon diced maybe a lb, remove it then throw copius amounts of black pepper 1T in the pan & tons of garlic 30 cloves rough chopped in the fat & sweat till translucent. take 6 egg yolks whisk, whisk the reserved fat garlic mixture in, add some xvo, the result should be a chunky warm mayo like mixture maybe a 1/2cup, toss warm cooked pasta in, 2 boxes or so fettucini/tagliatelli is classic, (it holds up if you dont get to eat in time) seaon with salt. variations add parsley(not classic but tasty). or peas(not classic, but tasty, sorta healthy).

            1. I've made it with bacon salt with good results.

              Now that we have kosher beef bacon available, I do want to try doing a meat version and then replacing the parmesan with a nut/nutritional yeast blend. So curious how it would come out.

              1. Lamb bacon. Here's how I approached it: While the pasta pot came to a boil, I took a chunk piece of kosher lamb bacon (from Kosher Lamb Bacon), chopped it into lardons, and sauteed until nicely browned. Then I removed them from the pan and browned chopped onions (you might prefer garlic) in the lamb bacon fat. (The pan was coated with fat, there was not a pool of it) Deglazed (white wine is classic, I used leftover beer - worked beautifully). Put lardons back into pan to keep warm on low flame. Cooked the linguini. This was pasta for 2 so I had two egg yolks at room temperature. Turned drained linguini into a large bowl, tossed with lardons, egg yolks, and black pepper.

                Tossing in bowl kept the yolks from cooking.

                Was it an authentic carbonara? Who knows? Haven't got a clue as to what it would have tasted like with cheese. But the "bacon" certainly complimented the pasta with a rich smoky, salty flavor and tasted wonderful.

                Bacon, pasta, a classic Italian recipe that you can put on the table in 1/2 hour. what's not to like?

                Well, the aroma. for anyone frum who lives in or grew up in a western country, having the aroma of browning bacon in your own house takes some getting used to. On the other hand, not that kosher lamb belly bacon is available, we can try famous dishes that we have only heard about.

                16 Replies
                1. re: AdinaA

                  Sounds delicious...................

                  I might suggest you deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup dry white wine after browning the onions, will really add to the body/character of the sauce.

                  It also will benefit from some fresh chopped broadleaf parsley on top of the plate to counteract the fat feel in the mouth.

                  As a side, you can make some bruschetta with the bread rubbed with a bit of the lamb bacon fat, a bit if finely diced browned onion/shallot/garlic and a sprig of rosemary and a tiny bit of sun dried tomato...drizzle a few drops of olive oil and place under the broiler til crisp

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    You might want to check this recipe for technique, adapting as necessary. It's a reprint of the CI version.


                    1. re: rockycat

                      Rockycat, thank you. I gave some thought to cream, whole eggs and the various approaches to making and adding the sauce. I did not sub anything for cream. But, with the eggs, I thought just yolks would bout give a creamier mouth-feel and reduce the risk of producing a cooked egg dish. I found the technique used here - mixing in a bowl away form heat and not in the hot cooking pot - made sense, although I did not warm the bowl. And it did work, the yolks, bacon and onions coated the linguini and the dish really was wonderful. Albeit a little shocking for a kosher palate. Have you tried to do carbonara? Interested in your solutions.

                      1. re: AdinaA

                        I hate the idea of not using cheese, so I'm more inclined to use bacon salt, poor substitution that it is.

                        I've never had proper lamb bacon, though. I say "proper" because The Spouse attempted to make his own (he makes killer beef sausages and other cured things) but either the cure was too salty or it was left too long, I forget which, and the resulting meat was not edible. We mean to try again but have a hard time finding the right lamb.

                        1. re: rockycat


                          I generally prefer fake meat to fake cheese, so I tend to agree.

                          1. re: DeisCane

                            The winner is pasta with real Romano cheese, and Morningstar Farms bacon. After doing a fleishig carbonara with lamb bacon, which was very good. I tried Fara's approach: browned shitake mushrooms and onions for umami, and it was also good, but not special among veggie pasta-and-melted-cheese dishes. Then I tried DeisCane's and Rockycat's suggestion of fake meat and real Romano. This produced a dish that seemed to marry the pasta, the butter, the cheese and the facon, taking the dish to a whole new level. I know that it wasn't the real deal. But It gave me a really good sense of what makes Italians and non-Italians get very excited about the forbidden combinations and ingredients. And it was good enough that I recommend it to you.

                        2. re: AdinaA

                          Just as a comment about using the richness of egg yolks to substitute for cream.

                          When I was a little kid more than 55 years ago, I can remember my great grandfather using beaten egg yolk as a 'creamer' for coffee on Pesach, before the pareve chemical existed.

                          Then when I marriedmy ex-wife, the ex-MIl told stories about her parents doing the same thing in Europe in the 30s.

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            I saw this blog. Apparently, they did that in Si, too. It is definitely a thing.

                            1. re: bagelman01

                              Byron used to put raw egg in his tea. I'd never heard of anyone doing it, but apparently the egg in coffee thing is still done in Scandinavia and particularly in Sweden.

                        3. re: bagelman01

                          Bagelman, I did, actually, except that I didn't have any leftover wine, so I deglazed with a little Chimay Trappist Grand Reserve Belgian Ale that I had in the fridge ( I always save half-empty wine and beer for cooking). Worked beautifully. I edited it out because I was embarrassed to admit adding Belgian Ale to linguini carbonara (don't the Italians have food police to stop this sort of thing?) But since you've called me on it I've edited it back in.

                          1. re: AdinaA

                            I've even seen Italians use vinegar to deglaze. Anything that was alcohol based, acidic and the alcohol vcan burn off works just fine. Even the pasta water can be used in a pinch...........

                            I mentioned the deglazing, as long time cooks (we're no longer kids) oftenperform steps automatically and don't put them down when writing a recipe. Some of the newbies might not think to deglaze and end up with a good as opposed to a great dish.

                        4. re: AdinaA

                          What do you mean by this? "for anyone who lives in or grew up in a western country, the aroma of browning bacon takes some getting used to."

                          1. re: DeisCane

                            I meant: "for anyone frum who lives in or grew up in a western country, having the aroma of browning bacon in your own house takes some getting used to." going to edit that in now. Israelis and Jews who live in India, Turkey, Morocco don't grow up with this aroma and, I presume, don't have quite the reaction to it that Jews i Western countries do.

                              1. re: AdinaA

                                I'm with you, Adina. It takes getting used to.

                                And I always explain to friends who drop by while I'm cooking, or if the aroma is still in the air. Not that anyone would "suspect" me, but it's very weird and I feel compelled to say something, whereas I don't give a second thought to the smell of gefilte fish cooking.