The CookingBites Cookalong: Pasta Carbonara

The concept of the CookingBites Cookalong is to cook 'classic’ or regional recipes and/or practice specific techniques. Its similar in concept but rather more specific than 'Dish of the Month'. This time round the chosen dish is Pasta Carbonara. This dish can be made in its classic form or you are welcome to cook a vegan or vegetarian version. For those who wish to do so, there is the option of making your own pasta. And if you are on a gluten free diet then you could use gluten free pasta.

As always with our challenges, if you want to post a full recipe then please post as a new thread, tag it 'cookingbites cookalong' and place a link to it in this thread. The provisional deadline for participation is Thursday 6th February.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TastyReuben

morning glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
Joined
19 Apr 2015
Local time
10:52 AM
Messages
32,181
Location
Maidstone, Kent, UK
I'm going to try making a classic version (will try to obtain guanciale) and also a vegetarian version. I've never made either (not sure why). I also have some gluten free black bean spaghetti so could attempt a version using that.
 
Last edited:

SatNavSaysStraightOn

A Reforming Perfectionist
Staff member
Joined
11 Oct 2012
Local time
9:52 PM
Messages
12,305
Location
A Pom in NSW, Aus
Website
www.satnavsaysstraighton.com
I fear I will pass on this one. That's okay, not every food dish will appeal to everyone. Nor should it. There's plenty other things to explore here.
Same here.

Plus I'm not certain that after all the substitutions to make it both vegetarian and dairy free that it will actually even qualify as 'carbonara'.
Currently only the egg and black pepper can remain for myself and I'm not keen on 'vegan bacon replacements' in the form of aminos and coconut flakes.
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
5:52 AM
Messages
2,889
Location
Ohio, US
Got my recipe picked out, and it's from a cookbook I've never used before. Just a basic/classic version, but it'll be fun anyway.
 

caseydog

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Local time
4:52 AM
Messages
799
Location
Dallas, TX
Same here.

Plus I'm not certain that after all the substitutions to make it both vegetarian and dairy free that it will actually even qualify as 'carbonara'.
Currently only the egg and black pepper can remain for myself and I'm not keen on 'vegan bacon replacements' in the form of aminos and coconut flakes.
How about using marinaded mushrooms, an Italian antipasto, as a substitution for pork. It is basically olive oil and salt soaked shrooms. The only dairy is cheese, and there should be a vegan substitute for that.

CD
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

A Reforming Perfectionist
Staff member
Joined
11 Oct 2012
Local time
9:52 PM
Messages
12,305
Location
A Pom in NSW, Aus
Website
www.satnavsaysstraighton.com
How about using marinaded mushrooms, an Italian antipasto, as a substitution for pork. It is basically olive oil and salt soaked shrooms. The only dairy is cheese, and there should be a vegan substitute for that.

CD
There are exceptionally few, if any, decent dairy free cheeses. That's why i make my own. And to be honest, if I'm doing that, I'm making a macaroni and cheese with mushroom pasta dish, not a pasta carbonara. But thank you.
If you've tried dairy free cheeses, you'll understand.
 

MypinchofItaly

Veteran
Joined
17 Feb 2017
Local time
11:52 AM
Messages
3,831
Location
Milano, Italy
Website
www.mypinchofitaly.co.uk
There are exceptionally few, if any, decent dairy free cheeses. That's why i make my own. And to be honest, if I'm doing that, I'm making a macaroni and cheese with mushroom pasta dish, not a pasta carbonara. But thank you.
If you've tried dairy free cheeses, you'll understand.
I am sorry you can’t join this cookalong, but I know what you mean and I agree. “Carbonara” is a specific dish. Being vegan, you can replace cheese with a vegan one of course. But honestly, if the changes are too much, better to call it “pasta with vegetables” and not Carbonara.
 

morning glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
Joined
19 Apr 2015
Local time
10:52 AM
Messages
32,181
Location
Maidstone, Kent, UK
There are exceptionally few, if any, decent dairy free cheeses. That's why i make my own. And to be honest, if I'm doing that, I'm making a macaroni and cheese with mushroom pasta dish, not a pasta carbonara. But thank you.
If you've tried dairy free cheeses, you'll understand.
The one thing that does work as cheese is vegan parmesan (which I make). In fact I have used it on top of pasta and people haven't guessed. So that is what I'll be using in the vegan (and possibly vegetarian) version. Sun-fried tomatoes chopped small, in place of pancetta, perhaps? I also have a 'vegan cheese sauce' recipe which I've spent a long time working on (will post it up soon). So I reckon I can make something pretty luxurious looking & tasting which is also vegan.

“Carbonara” is a specific dish. Being vegan, you can replace cheese with a vegan one of course. But honestly, if the changes are too much, better to call it “pasta with vegetables” and not Carbonara.
To take a purist standpoint then yes. But same would go for all manner of vegan versions of dishes. The phenomenal rise of veganism has meant that its now pretty easy to find a vegan version of all manner of classic dishes. Just google the dish and put the word vegan in front. If you google 'vegan pasta carbonara' there are thousands of recipes - so I think we can accept that for the purposes of this Cookalong it can be called 'vegan carbonara'.

There is another factor here in terms of getting 'hits' from google (for this forum & for cooking blogs). People do tend to look up vegan versions of classic dishes, so calling a dish by its classic name preceded by vegan will attract more traffic.
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
5:52 AM
Messages
2,889
Location
Ohio, US
The phenomenal rise of veganism has meant that its now pretty easy to find a vegan version of all manner of classic dishes.
Once somebody came up with vegan fondue, that pretty much ended any argument against a vegan version of nearly anything in my mind. :)

So over the course of the last couple of days, I've gone through all my cookbooks and watched a lot of different videos on pasta carbonara. One thing I noticed...they all say, "No cream!" - yet I've found nary a recipe that calls for cream, so I'm assuming at one point, maybe decades ago, somebody was adding cream to their carbonara and it caught on. Probably an American, we have to change everything. :laugh:

Also, all the recipes are almost exactly the same, with the only variant being whether to use whole eggs, a mix of whole and egg yolks, or purely egg yolks, except for one - my America's Test Kitchen cookbook does call for a small amount of white wine in the sauce.

I'm opting for the recipe in another cookbook that very close to the one in the video above (and the one at Food & Wine...and Epicurious...and Bon Apetite...and Chef John at Food Wishes...), simply because I haven't made anything from this cookbook before, so why not?

Also, I'll note I've made the one from ATK, using regular streaky bacon as a substitute for the cheek meat, and I commented next to it that I didn't care for the bacon, that it was overpowering. In one of the many recipes I checked through yesterday, one of them mentioned "guanciale if you have it, pancetta if you don't, bacon if you must, because the bacon will overpower the dish." Ha!
 

morning glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
Joined
19 Apr 2015
Local time
10:52 AM
Messages
32,181
Location
Maidstone, Kent, UK
Top Bottom