I originally posted this back in 2012 but thought I would re-post since it is still so delicious. Plus, this time I used my home-cured pancetta and ditched the sausage meatballs. I also used spaghetti instead of linguine, which is probably a touch more authentic. Best quote of the past week by my step-daughter Jackie, “of course we have meat hanging in our pantry!!”
As a boy, my pasta experience was fairly limited. My mom would make Italian-American style spaghetti with homemade sauce, LOTS of veggies, and some burger. She, as well as several of my aunts, made lasagna somewhat often as well, and even though I have discovered, how-can-I-be-diplomatic-here, different interpretations of these dishes since, some of the best comfort food, regardless of your upbringing, can be a great plate of pasta.
Carbonara, like a lot of Italian dishes, is usually based on not only interpretation, but probably more so about what region of Italy you grew up in, who your grandmother was, and so on. Even though there a lot of dishes around Italy that have the same names, bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, ragu, and of course carbonara, the ingredients, the method and ultimately the taste is the subject of endless debate.
The recipe I am going to share with you is just another interpretation, but I think a darn good one. Simply prepared, packed with lots of flavor from the good quality italian sausage and pancetta (or bacon), fresh herbs, and some eggs, cream and parmiggiano-reggiano, this is a pasta dish that you will be able to prepare for your friends, family, or even a romantic dinner. It is THAT good.
1 lb pasta
4 pieces pancetta, roughly chopped
4 italian sausage links, removed from casings and rolled into little balls (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3.5 oz (a good generous handful) parmiggiano-reggiano
4 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
small handful chopped flat leaf parsley
Prepare pasta according to package. While the water is boiling, saute the pancetta and sausage meatballs (if using) for a few minutes over medium heat until nice and browned. Drain in a paper towel lined plate and set aside. In a separate bowl, crack your eggs and drop the yolks, cream, parm, lemon zest and parsly and whisk it until combined.
When pasta is done, grab your kitchen tongs and get a handful of pasta and place into creamy egg mixture (this brings the mixture up in temperature gently so you don’t scramble the eggs!). Add this back to your pasta bowl and thoroughly stir. Add back the pancetta and meatballs. Serve with additional parmiggiano-reggiano and black pepper.