Spaghetti carbonara always scrambles when I add the eggs.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by thescrambler, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. thescrambler

    thescrambler

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    Everytime I try to recreate a good carbonara I always slightly scramble the eggs and never get that creamy sauce that I'm looking for. I've attempted the recipe a few times and have waited for the pasta to cool without it all sticking to each other but its not long enough I guess to prevent scrambling. Any advice would be great if anyone knows a solution to this problem! Thanks.
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be helpful if you outlined how you are making it.
     
  3. jah42

    jah42

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    Quckily rinse the pasta in running cold water to lower the temperature and prevent sticking. Also collect some of the pasta water and add to the egg/parmesan mix/cream mix before tossing the pasta.
    That works for me
     
  4. planethoff

    planethoff

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    I disagree with rinsing pasta. It washes off starch that is needed for sauce to stick. And the way I do it, you need the heat of the pasta to cook the egg.

    They way I do it is, have the browned panchetta in pan, add cooked pasta, (reserve some pasta water) remove from heat. Sprinkle cheese over pasta and pour well beaten egg over cheese then toss to incorporate. The cheese creates heat barrier so egg doesn't scramble. Very creamy and velvety. Can add pasta water if necessary
     
  5. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    As Pete suggested, post how you are making it now. But. . . 

    Before you put the pasta into the pan, turn off the heat. Don't completely drain the pasta. I use tongs straight from the water to the pan. Even though the water was boiling, it will cool down the pan. I know those that are sanitary clean geeks will frown on this, but place a clean finger into the mound of pasta. If you can stand the heat, then the eggs probably won't scramble. Of course, if you have a huge pan and just a small amount of pasta in the middle, the pan will scramble the egg unless it's cool enough. You don't want raw egg either. The idea is to temper the eggs. 

    I'd also suggest putting parmesan in the egg after whisking them, and insure it's evenly distributed before pouring into the pan with pasta. 

    EDIT : Holy bacon batman, everybody has their own way of making carbonara. I wouldn't rinse the pasta either. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I know this is sacrilege but I whisk the Parmesan into the egg yolk along with the tiniest tablespoon of cream (😳 wha?!!!) and I add it at the very last minute before serving. Never had a problem.
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    @JAH42 this is where Italians send people who rinse pasta.
     
  8. jah42

    jah42

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    Good thing im not Italian😀
     
  9. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Is that also where Italians sends folks who put cream in their carbonara? Ha ha.
     
  10. chefross

    chefross

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    I don't think that is sacrilege at all.

    You use egg yolks and not whole eggs?

    Welcome thescrambler to ChefTalk.

    Sounds like your technique might be off.

    Don't rinse the pasta. After draining well, add the pasta to the pan you cooked the bacon or Pancetta in, and using one hand slowly add the egg/cream mixture, use the wooden spoon with the other to stir while you add more mixture. Finish with the cheese.
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Yes, I run the place haha.
     
  12. jah42

    jah42

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    Heretic version of Carbonara. Cold rinsed pasta and a dash of cream in the mix.I even had a glass of German white wine to wash it down...muahaha.



    Joking aside, not changeing recipies even if it makes them better just becauce thats the way it has always been is cooking conservatism at its worst.
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'll try doing it this way next time.  This guy has an accent and looks like he's been making carbonara a long time so I'll try it this way.  Not any different than what I do except for the godforbidden cream.  
     
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Looks good.  Conservatism though has nothing to do with it.  I question authenticity too because I want to eat food that I enjoy regardless of how authentic it is or not.  It's just not relevant to me.  But rinsing pasta is not about authenticity for me, it just gives a very undesirable texture to the pasta.  You probably enjoy that texture, but I don't and it's ok to disagree about that, nothing to do with conservatism.  
     
  15. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I totally agree with this sentiment but in the case of rinsing pasta before serving I have to totally disagree.  There is a very good reason for not rinsing pasta and it was given above.  The starches left on the pasta help the sauce to cling to the pasta.  By rinsing the pasta you remove much of that surface starch making the pasta less capable of holding onto the sauce.  It's not about authenticity as much as it's about good cooking technique.  While I am all for authenticity I don't believe it is the end all-be all of cooking.  In fact, when it comes to Carbonara, while I like the traditional (authentic version which used guanicle-not pancetta) I have to admit that I prefer it with American style smoked bacon.
     
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  16. mike9

    mike9

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    That's the way I make mine and it's delicious.  Jowl is hard to come by so it's usually bacon for us.
     
  17. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    We have to work with what we have and any good Italian would do the same. No chance of finding gunciale or pecorino in Greece but we've got darn good eggs!
     
  18. planethoff

    planethoff

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    You are right and I was taught to make it with guanicle, but like you I prefer it with American thick bacon. I said panchetta because I prefer texture and it is more acceptable to purists. and easier to find than guanicle. I don't hold it against people for using cream. I personally don't, but if you like it that way, go for it. Just like when people make Alfredo with cream cheese :eek:


    This is the one I did for the December brunch challenge
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  19. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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  20. someday

    someday

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    Cream? No no no no no no no. 

    Here's how I used to make it when I worked the pasta station at a badass Italian joint in my hometown. 

    Sweat guanciale (we used house made, natch, but sometimes we used housemade pancetta too) 

    Pour out/reserve about 1/2 the fat

    We added caramelized onions to ours, but you don't have to. I like it though. 

    Deglaze with white wine. You can cool and set aside your pan at this point. 

    Add cooked al dente pasta to the pan (we made our own dried pasta in house, again natch, but good store bought is fine, and cooked it in one of those giant multi-basket pasta machines)

    Add pasta water to the pan

    remove from heat, add equal parts mix of grated pecorino and parmesan

    add egg yolks (depending on how big a portion, but 1-2 yolks is enough for a good amount). Sometimes we'd use really nice farm fresh duck eggs

    mix vigorously off the heat to emulsify the cheese and cook the egg. The yolks should thicken like a custard but obviously not scramble

    If too tight add another splash of pasta water, if too loose cook gently for another 20-30 seconds until thickened back up. 

    Stir in a GENEROUS amount of cracked black pepper (my old chef liked it really peppery). We used a mortar/pestle for ours, but a grinder works too (we did a bunch everyday for service)

    Taste for seasoning (usually the pasta water was very salty, so is the pork, so is the cheese. I'd usually add a pinch of salt but do it to your taste)

    Twirl into warm bowl, top with more black pepper, more cheese, and a squirt of finishing olive oil

    So. Freaking. Good. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
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