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Sweetened with a hint of maple syrup, this golden-brown oat bread will rise to any mealtime occasion. The texture is insanely perfect, and the taste is super delicious. It’s hearty, soft, sweet and savoury. Toast it to bring out the subtle maple flavour. Read more

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Welcome to Fast2eat! If you’re looking for easy-to-prepare, nutritious, delicious, and Fast-2-eat recipes, then you’re in the right place.

The authentic carbonara

If you want an authentic carbonara, don’t add anything else to the list of ingredients.

Carbonara Variations for desperate moments

Carbonara is one of the most mistreated recipes ever! It makes Italians suffer a lot!

As with all the dishes of traditional Italian cuisine, there are several variations to the Spaghetti alla Carbonara authentic recipe.

As you might expect, some adaptations of the famous dish have left Italian gourmands less than impressed. Many Italian cooks get touchy when ingredients are changed or added to the mix – often saying anything that deviates from the classic recipe should not be called carbonara.

But some gourmands are more tolerant of carbonara adaptations, pointing out that the recipe has evolved over time. In each variation, you can add or substitute one or more ingredients.

Remember: This is NOT an authentic carbonara.

Spaghetti “Carbonara” with Cream

Adding cream to carbonara is the biggest no-no, as the creaminess of the pasta dish should only come courtesy of the raw egg and the addition of some of the reserved cooking water.

Many people like to make Spaghetti Carbonara with cream, replacing 1 egg with 100 ml of whipping cream. For them, the dish is more creamy, and it has a taste of egg less pronounced.

You should not use whipping cream to make the dish more creamy.

For the simple reason that the fat of the guanciale, the cheese and the eggs are already quite creamy and heavy by nature.

The cream is useless. It just makes it fatter.

So adding the cream would only make the dish heavier and cloying.

Cooking tricks, but only for desperate moments.

On the other hand, it is true that if you prepare large quantities of pasta (e.g. for 10 people), a dash of cream can help make the seasoning more fluid. But it must remain a secret. And it’s a makeshift solution.

Carbonara” with Pancetta or Bacon

The second thing people get wrong when they make carbonara is they substitute cheap bacon for guanciale (Italian cured meat prepared from pork jowl) or pancetta (Italian salt-cured bacon made from pork belly)

Pancetta is a cured Italian “bacon that is usually not smoked and sometimes substitutes when guanciale is not available.

Many people sometimes use pancetta in carbonara pasta because it’s easier to find it on the market. But more often, they use it because guanciale is rather fat meat, and there is no doubt that it is a hypercaloric ingredient.

Pancetta is a good substitute in this recipe, but guanciale’s richer, deeper flavour makes it worth seeking out.

Spaghetti carbonara with pancetta is a variation of the traditional recipe.

Guanciale is similar to pancetta. But pancetta comes from the belly of the pig, while guanciale is made from the jowl and has a stronger pork flavour and a more delicate texture.

Pancetta is drier and less fat. If you use pancetta (possibly not smoked), add a tablespoon of oil to fry it.

Talking about variations, when cooking at home, failing to find Guanciale or Pancetta, bacon (the pork belly) is a super handy substitute.

Pancetta and bacon are made from pork belly, but pancetta is salt-cured and dried while bacon is smoked. The pancetta will have a salty flavour, while the bacon will be smoky.

Whatever you use, cook until nice and crispy for the best flavour.

Pasta “Carbonara” with Parmigiano

Even for what concerns the cheese, some use Parmigiano cheese instead of Pecorino Romano or half Parmigiano cheese and half Pecorino Romano. In this case, the taste becomes less strong and flavourful (Pecorino Romano is a delicious cheese).

So, suppose that’s what you have, in that case, you can use Parmigiano Reggiano for sure in your carbonara recipe but be aware that it is a variation of the more classic carbonara pasta.

Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino-romano or parmesan are the best varieties for this dish because they’ll melt into the creamy sauce without becoming stringy.

It’s best to avoid mozzarella or pizza cheese blends for this reason.

Fat

No oil, no butter, no lard. Just the fat from guanciale.

Place the guanciale in a really hot pan and let it braise at medium heat until it is golden and releases enough fat.

Spaghetti “Carbonara” with Garlic or Onion

Garlic is Carbonara’s worst enemy!
Remember it! An Italian would never do that!
No garlic, no onion, it’s not a ragù!

Many people like to simmer the guanciale with a clove of garlic or a little onion. This isn’t so authentic but adds a nicely gently background flavour. Carbonara tastes a lot of onion and garlic – another recipe for another time.

Peas

Also, peas are undesired guests. Pasta carbonara with peas does not compute under any circumstance.

Serving the pasta with peas isn’t going to balance out the dish at all; they’re just going to get overwhelmed and talked over by the more prominent flavours on board.

“Carbonara” with herbs

Do NOT put parsley, basil or other spices everywhere!

Then again, if you need some green, perhaps carbonara isn’t your dish.

Egg noodles

Also, using egg noodles wouldn’t be good! The egg is already present in the sauce!

Vegan “Carbonara”

Never say ‘carbonara’ and ‘vegan’ in the same sentence.

You’re not the only one

I have also committed those Crimes against carbonara. My first “carbonara” was nothing that carbonara must be. You can check it here.

Remember: This is NOT an authentic carbonara.

The authentic carbonara

This is the authentic Carbonara recipe

If you want an authentic carbonara, don’t add anything else to the list of ingredients.

Also follow those tricks for making real Italian pasta alla carbonara


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Young fresh and soft, creamy unripened cheeses

(Fresh – Cow’s milk cheese, double or triple creamy, Stretched Curd and Brined, Soft and Brined, Semi-soft and Brined)

Mild

Cheeses listed in this Mild quadrant pair well with light white wines and champagnes.

Sparkling Wine

  • Dry, traditional-method sparkling wines, white and rosé – NV (Non-Vintage), even those with some sweetness
    • Brut Champagne
    • Cava
    • Franciacorta
    • Trentodoc
    • Prosecco
    • Moscato d’Asti
    • Brachetto d’Acqui

White Wine

  • Light white wines
  • Crisp, dry and young bottlings
    • unoaked Albariño
    • Arneis
    • Assyrtiko
    • Chablis
    • Chardonnay (unoaked/young)
    • Chenin Blanc
    • Muscadet/Melon
    • Pinot Blanc
    • Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
    • Soave
    • Verdejo
    • Vermentino
  • Floral whites
    • Gewürztraminer
    • Viognier
    • Muscat/Moscato
    • Malvasia
  • Herbaceous whites (especially with goat)
    • Sauvignon Blanc/Fumé Blanc
    • Sancerre
    • White Bordeaux
    • Grüner Veltliner
  • Off-dry wines (specially for salty cheeses like feta)
    • Gewürztraminer
    • Riesling
  • Riesling, dry through sweet
    • Trocken (bone dry)
    • Kabinett (sweet)
    • Spätlese (Late Harvest)
    • Auslese (Select Harvest)

Rosé Wine

  • Rosés with apple, stone fruit, tropical, citrus, or melon flavours
  • Crisp, dry rosé
    • Tavel
    • Bandol
    • Côtes du Rhône
    • Provençal/ Provence rosé

Red Wine

  • Light bodied reds with low tannins
    • Lambrusco (Sparkling style)
    • California Grenache/Garnacha
  • Very young, fruity, unoaked red wines
    • Loire Cabernet Franc
    • Pinot Noir
    • Gamay
    • Burgundy/Bourgogne)
    • Gamay Beaujolais
    • Valpolicella
    • Zweigelt

Dessert Wine

  • Aperitif and sweet wines
    • Fino Sherry
    • White Port

Fresh and soft cheeses – Soft-ripened and Bloomy-rind

Note: Milder blue cheese like Cambozola share the same potential matches as bloomy cheeses.

Mild

Cheeses listed in this Mild quadrant pair well with light white wines and champagnes.

Sparkling Wine

  • Dry, traditional-method sparkling wines, white and rosé
    • Brut Champagne
  • Sparkling whites – NV (Non-Vintage) for young cheese, vintage for riper, more pungent cheeses)

White Wine

    • Light-bodied, dry, unoaked Chardonnay
      • Chablis
    • Restrained, dry, light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc
      • Sancerre
    • Dry, young Riesling
    • Dry Chenin Blanc
      • Vouvray
    • Grüner Veltliner
    • Aged Hunter Valley Semillon or textured white Rhône varieties
      • Marsanne and Roussanne
      • Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (Specifically for ripe, pungent cheese)

Red Wine

  • Dry and light-bodied wines that are young, fruity and unoaked
    • Pinot Noir
    • Dolcetto
    • Barbera
    • Gamay
    • Cabernet Franc from the Loire
    • Bonarda
    • Mencía
    • Zweigelt

Other (Cider/Beer/Gin)

  • Lighter beers

Fresh and soft cheeses – Goat’s and sheep’s milk

For Goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses, you can break the rules, as long as you stick with a fresh wine with lively acidity, it is best to avoid very mature sheep or goat cheeses as they can be very strong.

Mild

Cheeses listed in this Mild quadrant pair well with light white wines and champagnes.

White Wine

  • Sauvignon Blanc (classic wine pairing for goat cheese)
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chardonnay
  • Sancerre
  • Dry Riesling
  • Rhône varieties (if aged)

Rosé Wine

  • Crisp dry (for goat cheese)
    • Provençal/Provence rosé (particularly for a summer picnic)

Red Wine

  • Cabernet Franc

Fresh fruity red (for goat cheese)

  • Beaujolais

Dessert Wine

  • Fino Sherry

Semi-aged and medium-hard cheeses/Moderately aged cheeses

Semi-aged and medium-hard cheeses have a firmer texture and stronger flavours. They need medium-bodied whites, fruity reds, vintage sparkling wine, and aperitif wines that offer a balance between acidity, fruit, and tannin. In other words, a wide range of wines, from youthful to vibrant, but stopping shy of the biggest, boldest reds.

Pair with semi-aged and medium-hard cheeses with medium-bodied white, fruity red, and vintage sparkling wines.

Mild Cow, Mild Goat, Mild Sheep, Swiss or Swiss style.

Moderately aged cheeses have developed some complexity, but remain smooth and mild tasting. That makes them partner best with wines that, like them, have some complexity but retain refreshing acidity.

Medium

Pair these cheeses with Light Red Wine, Rosè, Lagers, and Pilsner Beers.

Sparkling Wine

  • Sparkling wines – especially vintage
    • Champagne
    • Cava
    • Trentodoc

White Wine

  • Medium-bodied whites
    • white Burgundy
    • white Bordeaux
    • Pinot Blanc
    • Viognier
    • white Rhône blends
  • Medium-bodied whites Dry, white wines with a touch of oak (oak-aged)
    • Chardonnay (lightly oaked)
    • Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
    • White Rioja/Rioja Blanca
  • Riesling, especially off-dry through sweet
    • Spätlese (Late Harvest)
    • Auslese (Select Harvest)
    • Beerenauslese (Berry Select Harvest)

Rosé Wine

  • Pair with Rose wines

Red Wine

  • Light or fruity reds
    • Dolcetto
    • Barbera
    • Beaujolais
    • Grenache//Garnacha
    • red Burgundy
    • Pinot Noir
    • Zinfandel
    • Lambrusco (Sparkling style)
  • Gutsy, rustic, crunchy wines without much oak

    • Côtes de Rhône
    • Corbières
    • St-Chinian
    • Chianti
    • Mencía
    • young Bordeaux blends

Dessert Wine

  • Aperitif and sweet wines
    • Vintage Port
    • Late Bottle Vintage Port
    • White Port
    • Young Tawny Port
    • Calvados
  • Oxidative styles

    • Amontillado Sherry

Other (Cider/Beer/Gin)

  • Hard cider (dry to off-dry)

Semi-aged and medium-hard cheeses/Moderately aged cheeses – Washed Rind

Washed Rind is often referred to as ‘stinky cheese’.

They tend to be quite pungent especially as they mature so don’t expect anything great in the way of a wine pairing.

They call for light-bodied wines with demure aromatics that complement rather than compete.

Oddly a crisp dry white wine (can work better than a red wine).

Meaty, creamy cheeses need a palate cleanser or a drink that stands up to the FUNK. Wine.

Avoid: Pungent washed-rind cow’s cheeses will lose its stinky characteristics when paired with Chardonnay, but you can also opt for milder, traditional triple cream cheese to avoid the smell.

Medium

Pair these cheeses with Light Red Wine, Rosè, Lagers, and Pilsner Beers.

Sparkling Wine

  • Dry, traditional-method white sparkling wines

    • Brut
    • Franciacorta
    • Brut California bottlings

White Wine

  • Dry and off-dry, unoaked white wines

    • Gewürztraminer
    • Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio from Alsace
    • Chenin Blanc from the Loire
  • Dry, structured whites (for ripe, pungent cheese)

    • Marsanne
    • Roussanne
    • mature Hunter Valley Semillon
    • Riesling from Clare or Eden Valley, Australia

Oddly a crisp dry white wine (can work better than a red wine)

Red Wine

  • Beaujolais Villages
  • Pinot Noir
  • Poulsard or Trousseau (Bastardo) from Jura
  • Red Burgundy

Dessert Wine

  • Sauternes

Other (Cider/Beer/Gin)

  • a strong Belgian-style ale (can work better than a red wine)

Hard aged cheeses

(Aged Cow, Aged sheep, Grana)

Bold red wines pair best with aged cheeses. In other words, pair older cheeses with bigger, aged wines. As cheese ages and looses water-content, it becomes richer in flavour with its increased fat content. These two attributes are ideal for matching bold red wines because the fat content in the cheese counteracts the high-tannins in the wine. For the best results, select cheeses that have been aged at least a year.

Pair Hard aged cheeses with full-bodied, tannic, oxidative and aromatic wines.

They’re the easiest type of cheese to pair with wine – a medium bodied red (to compliment the bold flavours) like a cabernet sauvignon or a Rioja is probably going to be the most enjoyable pairing for most people.

Aged hard cheeses need wines with oomph to balance their dense, salty, and very savoury flavours. They work best with earthier wines with big, ample structure, meaning those with some tannin. That’s because tannins bind protein and fat, essentially scrubbing the palate clean after every bite.

Avoid: Fatter cheeses, like Parmesan, are hard to digest. If mixed with a very sweet and high alcohol content wine, such as Porto, the effect can be disastrous.

Bold

Pair the cheeses in this quadrant with Red Wine, Ales, and Lambic Beers.

Sparkling Wine

  • White Sparkling wines – especially vintage traditional-method (for younger cheese)
    • Champagne
    • Franciacorta
    • Cava
    • Trentodoc

White Wine

  • Big, oxidative, or highly aromatic whites

    • Gewürztraminer
    • Muscat
    • Viognier
    • aged white Burgundy
    • aged white Bordeaux
    • Roussanne
    • Vin Jaune
    • orange wines
  • Riesling, especially off-dry through sweet

    • Spätlese
    • Auslese
    • Beerenauslese

Red Wine

  • Full-bodied reds

    • Zinfandel
    • Merlot
    • Barbera
    • red Burgundy
    • Oregon Pinot Noir
    • Petite Sirah
    • red blends from California
  • Structured reds

    • Barolo
    • Barbaresco
    • Brunello
    • Barbera
    • Amarone
    • Chianti
    • Sangiovese
    • Nero d’Avola
    • red Burgundy
    • red Bordeaux blends
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Syrah (AKA Shiraz)
    • Cabernet Franc
    • Monastrell
    • Ribera del Duero
    • Rioja(Spanish wines especially with Manchego)
  • Bold wines with some age

    • Nebbiolo
    • Aglianico

Dessert Wine

  • Sherry

    • Amontillado
    • Palo Cortado

Other (Cider/Beer/Gin)

  • Lagers
  • Pilsner Beers
Comté, Emmental, Grana Padano, Gruyère, Manchego (sheep), Montgomery’s Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino (sheep)
Go for a rich, dry white wine or a light to medium-bodied red wine, as their tannins and weight will work well with the structure of the cheese.
For the easiest cheese match with your wine, look for one that is relatively young and relatively hard – not too much strength or age.

Blue cheeses

Match super funky Crumbly stinky Blue cheeses with sweet wines.

Blue cheeses need wines with both oomph and sweetness to balance their bold flavours and usually very salty, savoury body.

The classic match for Blue cheeses is sweet wine. It works particularly well if the cheese is creamy. You get the complement from the creamy texture of the cheese and structure of the wine, as well as the contrast from the salty and sweet.

Avoid: Blue cheese with a youthful, tannic red wine can make the wine taste metallic.

Strong

These cheeses should be paired with Dessert Wines, Ports, and Stout Beers.

Sparkling Wine>

  • Sparkling wines – especially vintage

    • Champagne
    • Cava
    • Trentodoc

White Wine

  • Riesling, especially off-dry through sweet

    • Spätlese
    • Auslese
    • Beerenauslese
  • Late-harvest wines (for cheeses not overtly pungent)

    • Riesling Spätlese
    • Gewürztraminer
    • Vendanges Tardives

Noble Rot sweet wines (for sharp, salty cheese)

Dessert Wine

  • Aperitif and sweet wines
    • Oloroso sherry
    • Amontillado Sherry
    • Madeira
    • Tawny Port
    • Recioto
    • Tokaji
    • red Port
    • sweet sherry
    • Pedro Ximénez Sherry
  • Noble Rot sweet white wines (for sharp, salty cheese)
    • Sauternes
    • Barsac
    • Monbazillac
    • Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
    • Quarts de Chaume
  • Dessert white wines from dried grapes
    • Vin Santo
    • Jurançon
    • Recioto de Soave
  • Sweet, fortified reds
    • Vintage Port
    • Late Bottle Vintage Port
    • LBV Port
    • Maury
    • Banyuls

Other (Cider/Beer/Gin)

  • Stout Beers
  • sloe gin
 
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