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Spaghetti Carbonara

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Howie Hart

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Spaghetti Carbonara

by Howie Hart » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:26 pm

Here's a cool, locally made video: http://vimeo.com/55866996
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Frank Deis

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Frank Deis » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:37 pm

I got "Uh Oh, we'll be back in a jiffy" for the video

Anyway. I had the best Carbonara ever in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome. Eating pasta in Italy is a revelation, they are so good at getting the sauce to adhere to every strand of the pasta. I think they used prosciutto instead of bacon but every bite was a memorable experience. The restaurant was la Cisterna (the well) which I think is one of the oldest restaurants in Rome. We had several good meals in Trastevere.

FWIW -- old "downtown" Rome is east of the Tiber. Trastevere = Trans - Tiber meaning west of the Tiber River. It is an interesting place with narrow twisty streets and one of the first Christian churches in Rome, a converted synagogue.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:16 am

Nice - that's a great instructional video. Thought for a minute there that I could smell the garlic when it went in with the guanciale.
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Hoke

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Hoke » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:39 am

Frank, I agree, some great pastas in Rome--also some great antipasti spreads too---and Trastevere is loaded with lots of great small restaurants. So is the area at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, for that matter.

I almost always opt for al'Arrabiata or puttanesca when in Rome (and definitely puttanesca in Naples, where it was purportedly invented). I regret to say that I haven't had Carbonara in a good long while. I love a good carbonara (although most aren't as good as they should be), but shy away most often as it is difficult to justify the ingestion of carbs and fats in such concentrated indulgence...and the inevitable stuffed feeling I get from gorging myself long past the point when I should have stopped. 8)
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:19 am

And so many places make it wrong! (...there should be no cream in it)
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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Jenise » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Hoke wrote: So is the area at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, for that matter.


Where I had my favorite meal in Rome. Some little most excellent trattoria that we just stumbled into. It was lunchtime, and I was going to order Linguine Vongole, and then I saw Tignanello on their list for something insane, like $35. Couldn't not have that, and couldn't be talked out of the Vongole either. Hardly a good pairing, but sometimes having the food you want and the wine you want is more important than the match. In fact, all that's probably why I remember the meal so vividly.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:51 pm

Jenise wrote: Hardly a good pairing, but sometimes having the food you want and the wine you want is more important than the match.


I do so agree with that! The right match is indeed heavenly, but sometimes you just really want a particular wine and a particular dish and the fact that they may not pair all that well is secondary.
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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Hoke » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Jenise wrote:
Hoke wrote: So is the area at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, for that matter.


Where I had my favorite meal in Rome. Some little most excellent trattoria that we just stumbled into. It was lunchtime, and I was going to order Linguine Vongole, and then I saw Tignanello on their list for something insane, like $35. Couldn't not have that, and couldn't be talked out of the Vongole either. Hardly a good pairing, but sometimes having the food you want and the wine you want is more important than the match. In fact, all that's probably why I remember the meal so vividly.


You got it, Jenise!

Group of us were in Firenze and we stopped in a ristorante not far from the Piazza delle Signoria, just because we were hungry and it was thereand looked nice and what the hell. Got in there, ordered our dishes and noticed their 'wine storage system' was a shelf running all the way around the restaurant just above head height, and all the bottles haphazardly on it were marked with an individual price.

We also so Tignanello on the shelf, and checked it. Amazingly, it too was $35. So it didn't matter what we had ordered---we were going to have that Tignanello!!!

And we did. Even managed to find one more bottle lurking towards the back and behind another bottle. Drank that too.

Amazingly enough, the food was pretty good too.
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Frank Deis

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Re: Spaghetti Carbonara

by Frank Deis » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:04 pm

What I remember about our meal at the base of the Spanish Steps -- it was good, but I don't remember details. BUT for dessert we ordered crème brulée, and what arrived was a rich yellow color. They had done the Italian thing of enriching with egg yolks -- like they do famously with pasta in Piemonte. So instead of a refreshing creamy taste, it was kind of half omelet and half dessert. Memorable but not as enjoyable as the "real thing" would have been.

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