The French "Pâtes à la Carbonara"

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I thought I'd share that pasta recipe, which I find delicious. I call it "French Carbonara" as back in France, this is usually known as "Pâtes à la Carbonara". How the French came to completely twist and distort the recipe from its Italian neighbor's origins I have no idea. 

    To this day, I still love both styles, the authentic Italian Carbonara, and the "French Carbonara". They're just two quite different recipe.

    Pâtes à la Carbonara


    - Dice bacon, place in cold pan and turn on the heat on low. You can choose to add freshly ground black pepper, garlic cloves or garlic slices, or rub the pan with garlic before adding the bacon.

    - While the bacon fat is slowly rendering, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta. 

    - When the bacon is nicely cooked, remove most of the bacon fat from the pan and add thinly sliced onions. Bring the heat to medium-low and let the onion sweat in the bacon fat. 

    - When the onion is cooked, deglaze with white wine (optional), and add a good amount of creme fraiche (if you don't have creme fraiche, regular cream works ok, sour cream is another alternative). 

    - Add pasta water to desired consistency, add drained pasta to sauce, and serve with freshly grated parmesan (or Emmental if you want to go very French - yes I know Emmental is swiss but everybody in France always has a piece of emmental in their fridge, to grate for gratins, pasta, rice etc...). 

    You can make a little space in the center of your pasta bowl and delicately place an egg yolk there - but you knew that already. 

    Hope you enjoy. If that recipe is already well known from Americans and/or Italians or anyone else, maybe under another name, I'd love to know. 

    Bon ap' !
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    FF,

    Thank you posting that, I like how you incorporate creme fraiche in that dish. Adding the egg of course makes it even richer.

    Petals.
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    Cheers, petals, definitely a rich kinda pasta sauce! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I love carbonara anyway that I can get it :) 

    I'm still trying to wrap my brain around creme fraiche as an ingredient.  It's very expensive and haven't gotten to the point where I like it yet.  I need some more experimentation with it.  It is often suggested to use sour cream as a substitute but isn't the consistency different?  creme fraiche doesn't curdle when heated while sour cream does, right?  Just thinking out loud.
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Crème fraiche, for me, is not particularly expensive, it is simply heavy cream with a little live buttermilk, say a tablespoon per pint, and 24-48 hours at room temperature, I cover with cheesecloth.
     
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    How can you not like creme fraiche??!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif

    I was born and raised with creme fraiche (and good quality butter). Maybe it's a cultural thing, but to me nothing comes close. Upon moving to the U.S. I discovered sour cream, which is a great product, but doesn't come close to creme fraiche in my opinion. It's... not as rich, more sour, closer to yogurt than cream in my opinion. In France we have "Fromage blanc" which is typically eaten as a desert, or just before desert, usually with a little sugar or even fruit jam. That is what sour cream reminds me of. 

    IMO creme fraiche is somewhere in between cream and sour cream. Sometimes I'll use a mix of cream and sour cream. 

    PS: I have never had problems with creme fraiche curdling, I have had problems with sour cream curdling, but I don't have them anymore. If I'm adding sour cream to a lot of hot liquid I'll temper it first, which helps a lot. For this recipe it's not necessary though. 
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I must try it again.  Perhaps in this recipe.  Do you ever put any veggies in it like peas or parsley?  I'm not surprised you use emmental for grating, I think each country has their own cheese for pasta.  In greece nobody uses parmesan, they all use either kefalotiri or kefalograviera for pasta.  I like the latter of the 2 a lot but personally nothing beats the flavor of parmesan.  Now I'm curious about emmental!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011