Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara

Our friend Tom directed us to this recipe, and it's our favorite Pasta Carbonara recipe to date!

•8 to 10 oz dried spaghetti
•2 oz thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice
•2 oz thickly sliced smoked pancetta or 2 slices smoked slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
•2 oz prosciutto di San Daniele (substitute di Parma), cut into 1/2-inch dice
•1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
•1 cup frisée lettuce, chopped
•3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
•Coarse salt and ground black pepper
•1 tbsp unsalted butter
•2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
•1/3 cup grated Parmigiano mixed with ⅓ cup grated pecorino Romano (preferably Locatelli)
•2 extra large eggs

Poaching liquid:
•2 cups cold water mixed with 3 oz (6 tbsp) white vinegar and 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. In a gallon of abundantly salted water, cook pasta until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. 2. Bring egg-poaching liquid to boil and leave on low heat. 3. In large (12-inch) sauté pan over moderately low heat, cook diced pork until fat renders and meat is slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Add broth and simmer to reduce by 1/3, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add lettuce and parsley and salt and pepper. Add drained pasta, raise heat to high, and toss to coat with sauce. Add butter and olive oil and toss until pasta is well coated. Turn off heat, sprinkle in cheese, and toss. Evenly divide pasta between two warm serving bowls. 4. Working one at a time, carefully crack each egg into a small bowl and very gently slide into barely boiling poaching liquid. Cook until whites set but yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift each egg out of the water.

Tip: After you lift the egg, if you touch the back of the slotted spoon to a kitchen towel, it will lose the excess water clinging to the bottom.

To serve: Place an egg atop each bowl of pasta. Add a generous grind of black pepper. Eat immediately, mixing up the pasta to spread the egg and yolk throughout the bowl.

Serves 2

Frank Crispo is the chef and owner of Crispo in New York City.  They received an award for "Best Spaghetti Carbonara" by New York Magazine in 2004.  Recently when Jim and I were in NYC we decided to see how Chef Frank's dish held up to ours.  More to follow on the "show down."

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