INGREDIENTS: (serve 4 as
main dish or 6 as an appetizer)
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces 1/4 inch slices pancetta or apple-smoked bacon,
cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 medium red onion, thiny sliced
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pound fettuccine made from Fresh Egg Pasta Dough or
store-bought dried egg fettuccine or semolina bucatini
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
HERE TO BUY THE BOOK
a 10-quart stockpot with 7 quarts water and bring to a boil
over high heat. Add the salt, stir and reduce the heat to low,
and cover the pot.
Place a 10-inch skillet over low heat. Add the pancetta or bacon
and cook, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until it
has given up its fat and is beginning to color and crisp, 5
to 7 minutes. Add the onion, reduce the heat, and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the onion is soft and beginning to color
and the pancetta or bacon is crisp, about 7 minutes.
While the pancetta and onion are cooking, place a large stainless
steel or glass bowl next to the stove. Pour the egg and egg
yolks into a medium bowl and whisk until pale and increase in
volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Set the bowl with the eggs next to the
When the pancetta and onions are cooked, remove them from the
heat. Raise the heat under the pot of water and bring it back
to a boil.
Add the pasta and cover the pot until the water begins to bubble.
Lift the lid and immediately taste the pasta. When the pasta
is al dente, about 2 minutes (longer if using dried pasta),
scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the
pasta and add to the large bowl. Add the onion mixture and olive
oil and mix gently but thoroughly with tongs or a wooden spoon.
Add the eggs to the pasta and mix very quickly and thoroughly.
(If you aren't fast here, the eggs will scramble). If the pasta
looks dry at this point, add some of the reserved cooking water
1 tablespoon at time, mixing between additions. Stir in cheeses
and pepper and mix again. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish
and serve immediately.
I couldn’t afford truffles in my younger days, but occasionally
I will shave about 4 paper-thin slices of either fresh black
truffles or (much cheaper and more convenient jarred black truffles
in olive oil into each serving of the finished dish. The woodsy
flavor of the truffles goes beautifully with the richness of
the egg yolks.
Pino Luongo says:"
In my youth, I was an actor and I traveled around Italy with
a theater troupe. We were all good cooks-food was our second
passion, after acting. The perfect fettuccine alla carbonara
became our Holy Grail. When we were on the road, we'd finish
a performance and then find a local restaurant where we'd ask
the owner to make the dish, or, if it was late enough and the
place was empty, we'd just ask to into the kitchen and cook
for ourselves. We completed fiercely to see who could come up
with the best version, and we built on each other's refinements.
More than two decades later, I am still using the recipe I developed
with my fellow actors, and it remains a stand-out carbonara.
Making a great carbonara is like making a great stir-fry: It's
all about the timing and assembly. If you have all of the ingredients
ready, you can quickly put everything together. Tossing the
cooked pasta with the onions and olive oil before adding the
eggs lets the pasta cool slightly, reducing the chance that
the eggs will scramble when you stir them in.