Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paccheri Carbonara

We love Carbonara. But it's one of those dishes that is either really good or really bad. And some restaurants try to put their own special "touch" to it. It's basically just eggs and cheese, but some places have to put their own touches to it and make it their own. We found a place like that and their version was delicious. So I wanted to recreate it. Close but no cigar. I also don't think their dish was a true Carbonara but they can call it whatever they want, we called it fantastic. But mine didn't come close. We liked, not loved, so it needs more tweaking!

I found a recipe online by Barbara Lynch at Bon Appetit. Then just added what I remember was in the original dish. Mushrooms, peas. I think it must have also had cream, which to me would make it more like an Alfredo but that's a whole new discussion. I didn't use the cream. Next time.




The recipe from Bon Appetit used rigatoni but I used the same pasta the restaurant did, a large tube-shaped pasta called Paccheri, sort of like a big fat rigatoni. This wasn't exactly like we remember but it was still pretty good. The Paccheri is nice because it's big, hollow and hearty and when it's cooked it flattens and grabs a lot of sauce, except mine didn't flatten much because it was really al dente. It needed a tad more cooking time but on the bright side it wasn't crunchy. I also need more work on technique it's been a long time since I made a Carbonara. The sauce was a bit diluted, I added way too much pasta water this time because I was rushing to get dinner on the table and I didn't pay attention. Story of my life. But it was good. Just not great. So next time will be perfect. Maybe.




Paccheri Carbonara
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/04/the-silkiest-carbonara, recipe by Barbara Lynch
Printable Recipe

1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
7 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 pound rigatoni, paccheri or penne (spaghetti works well, too)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan plus more for garnish
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (or you can use a blend of pink, green and black peppercorns)
 
Put the pancetta in a large skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until fat renders but the pancetta is not browned, about 5 or 6 minutes. Saute the mushrooms until softened, add the peas and cook for another minute. Pour into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings. Transfer the pancetta, mushrooms and peas to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add egg yolks and egg to bowl; whisk to blend.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.
 
To egg mixture, immediately add the pasta, 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, and 1 teaspoon of the pancetta drippings; toss to coat. Working in batches, gradually add the Parmesan, stirring and tossing to melt between batches. Add freshly ground pepper and toss until sauce thickens, adding more pasta water by the spoonful if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
 
Divide into bowls and top with more grated cheese. Serve immediately.


Joining 
 Beth at Beth Fish Reads for her fun Weekend Cooking Party. Every weekend. It's open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share! Go on over and see some fun posts.
 

AND


61 comments:

  1. It looks very delicious to me. Very interesting pasta... I will look for paccheri!

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  2. I've never seen this tyoe of pasta before, I will look for it at the grocery store, looks great!

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  3. Mmmmm - the best sort of comfort food!

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  4. ahhh yes.. Carbonaras are certainly a favourite! i could eat them every day!! The truly authentic ones don't use any cream, but a lot of yolks instead. I just go for whatever that tastes greaat, be it authentic or not! hahaa..I like the way yours turned out though! It has a nice shine from the yolks!

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  5. I love the look of the pasta and as Pondside said, best of comfort food.

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  6. Carbonara has so few ingredients that sometimes it's hard to get "just right". I think you did a pretty tasty job with this though! I love that you used paccheri...they're such a fun shape!

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  7. A trued Italian feast; looks wonderful Carol.
    Rita

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  8. could you come over and cook this for us!!!!!! so delicious
    mary x

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  9. Beautiful~ Not sure I have ever seen that shape of pasta. Hope you're having a wonderful Friday.

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  10. Sometimes you need to tweak a recipe a few times before it's perfect. It still looks really tasty to me!

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  11. My mother was a genius at recreating recipes. She could taste and tell you exactly what was in the dish. I wish I cold do it half as well. You gave it a good try and came close. Looks delish in the photos anyway. I think my recipe has bacon in it. I'll have to look it up. I am not a big pasta eater, but I do love carbonara.

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  12. I love pasta and carbonara is one of my favorites. I have never made it at home though. Wonderful looking dish.

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  13. I really like your honest approach to writing. Not everything is "perfect" and you acknowledge that. I like the "try again" attitude.

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  14. We love this too - never tried it with mushrooms and peas...but they sound (and look!) like good additions!! Thanks :)

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  15. I had Carbonara in Rome a few months ago, and the pasta the restaurant used was paccheri. I did not know at the time what it was called, but thanks to you now I do. It was delicious, by the way.

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  16. never had..or even heard of...Paccheri.
    but with those ingredients, how could it be bad? really?

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  17. Pasta! I love it any way shape or form! I too have not seen this type of pasta at my local stores. I'm sure the Strip District in Pittsburgh would have it though!

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  18. I tried to make it once when we were married and it was a TOTAL disaster!

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  19. Definitely a worthy experiment with potential for greatness! Thanks for sharing -- my kitchen experiments go like that, too.

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  20. I´m getting hungry :)
    and do not miss.....

    S
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    S
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    it is FUN :)
    WELCOME
    Håkan ( The Roseman)

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  21. I wonder how those restaurants really do it - the recipes never seem to come out the same. I suspect they add a lot more salt butter and cream...

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  22. Anything with mushrooms... really I am in :)

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  23. I have never had pasta carbonara, but I love a good creamy pasta sauce. And mushrooms!

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  24. Your recipe posts always make me drool!

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  25. I think I should try and make a carbonara - you have inspired me! Yours looks delicious!

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  26. Definitely a great recipe to play with. I like tube pastas because sauce and other bits coat the pasta well. Yum!

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  27. i'd prefer penne in this :) thanks for sharing your awesome recipe!

    Latest: Of Latest Hit: Sesame Ramen

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  28. I love a good carbonara too and my favorite so far is Jamie Oliver's Zucchini Carbonara. I love the pasta you used but I'm not sure I've ever seen it in my store. I will look though! I think 'close' isn't bad at all! Love the mushrooms in this one.

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  29. Nothing wrong with making changes as you go along! That's how we end up with perfect recipes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  30. Oh I think it looks fantastic - I'm a sucker for mushrooms and peas. I'm sure you'll get it exactly how you want it.

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  31. Mouth salivating...I just had dinner an hour ago, but this is the kind of dish that I love!!!

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  32. I spotted the mushrooms right away :-) I love a good carbonara too!

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  33. Carbonara is always a treat to have for dinner! The additions of mushrooms. peas and pancetta make it a masterpiece.

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  34. Making my mouth water! I had fresh crimini mushrooms a couple of weeks ago ... delicious!

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  35. Peas sound very odd in a carbonara to me. I toss in fried mushrooms and meat. I use parma ham when in Europe but here in Malaysia I use streaky bacon.

    For the sauce I use one egg yolk, pinch of salt, shake of parmesan, sprinkle of white pepper, twice as much cream as egg yolk, and stir that quickly into the hot pasta, mushroom and bacon mix so that it thickens. Yummy and easy.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds good! I'll try the cream next time. The restaurant had the peas, so I added it.

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  36. Well it looks good! Even pretty.

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  37. It looks delicious! I have never heard of that fat rigatoni, nor streaky bacon for that matter! :)

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  38. Irresistible!Lots of good taste and color!Perfect for my pasta-loving family! :)

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  39. I love pasta and so does everyone in my family. I know what you mean when you say rush to serve! It is the story of my life too! I am sure that eventually you'll get it right. It looks perfect to me!

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  40. New follower!! Enjoying your blog very much~ pasta looks delicious too!

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  41. i think whatever pasta we make at home always taste good. its the yumminess that surpasses everything else when it comes to home cooked goodness!

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  42. I sometimes drive myself crazy trying to re-create something delicious from a restaurant! Whether yours is the same as the original or not, it looks delish!

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  43. Fantastic carbonara recipe! It's one of my favorite dishes and I love your variation here.

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  44. I am a big fan of Bon Appetit and will try almost any recipe from there. This one would take little urging to make. I love the pasta which is new to me. I am sure, I can't get that gluten-free.

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    1. I have a friend that has celiac so you got me a little curious because she'd like the paccheri. If you google "Gluten Free Paccheri Pasta" you'll get a few hits for online sites.

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  45. Wow Carol, your carbonara pasta looks great...like how this paccheri looks :)
    I never made carbonara and will keep this recipe for future use.
    Thanks for this awesome recipe and have a wonderful week ahead :)

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  46. Thanks for introducing me to paccheri pasta. I'll look for it at the store. I want to try it. Probably with carbonara.

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  47. A really great recipe and one I would like to try! Thanks and happy Monday!

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  48. This dish looks amazing to me right now! I love pasta.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  49. Who doesn't love carbonara???Yours looks amazing!!!Blessings,dear!

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  50. It looks great and probably tasted great, too, even though you think the recipe needs a little tweaking.

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  51. yumm, sorry havent been in for a while :), I always end up with scrambled eggs when making carbonara:). Have a nice day

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  52. This may not be the same as you would get in a restaurant, but it looks fantastic to me, Carol. Fresh spring peas are one of my favorite veggies and I love their addition to this recipe.

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  53. Hahaha, anything pasta, cream, white or red, I am for it! I like peas, it adds color, too, and some flavor!

    If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. That's me.

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  54. This recipe looks soooo good. I have corrected the link for you in Food on Friday. Have a nice week.

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