Where’s the best authentically Roman-style spaghetti alla carbonara in the Bay Area? Possibly in your home, hounds say, since this is a dish that often suffers in restaurant treatment.
Start with guanciale (cured hog jowl), not pancetta. It can be hard to find, but david kaplan says Lucca has it; Robert Lauriston recommends the ones made by Boccalone and Café Rouge. The closest recipe to the Roman version is in Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, says pastryqueen. “It is incredibly good … more so if you use guanciale, the best spaghetti and the best eggs possible.” And, of course, a good Pecorino Romano, not Parm.
If you’re truly hopeless in the kitchen, Ideale, whose chef-owner is Roman, has a good version, says Robert Lauriston.
SPQR, also Roman, “gets the flavors right, but the guanciale was in strips rather than diced.” Horrors!
Lucca Ravioli [Mission]
1100 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Boccalone Salumeria [Embarcadero]
1 Ferry Building #21, San Francisco
Café Rouge [East Bay]
1782 Fourth Street, Berkeley
Ideale [North Beach]
1315 Grant Avenue, San Francisco
SPQR [Pacific Heights]
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
Board Link: Best spaghetti carbonara?