Serves 4 (See note 1)
Enough olive oil to just cover the bottom
of your favorite skillet
About the same amount of butter
4 ounces pancetta, diced 2
1 pound spaghetti 3, 4
5 egg yolks 5
Lots of grated pecorino Romano 6
Freshly ground black pepper 7
And that’s all. No onions, no garlic, no
cream, no nothing else. 8
Sauté the pancetta in the oil and butter until the fatty parts are crisp and golden. 9 Cook the pasta until al dente. 10 Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with a small handful of the cheese and some pepper. Toss with the pasta, reserved water, the meat, 11 and another small handful of cheese. Serve with tiramisu. 12
1 Or one Chow, Baby, with a bit left over for
the midnight ghost. To keep leftover cooked pasta from drying out, store it in a Ziploc-type baggie with all the air squeezed out.
2 Or 6 slices bacon, diced. For the time-pressed, a handful of precooked Hormel Premium Real Crumbled Bacon will do.
3 Aventino’s will put carbonara on any pasta you want, even ziti, but that’s just weird.
4 If you don’t care about all the fat and cholesterol in this dish but carbohydrates still scare you, try Dreamfields brand “healthy carb” spaghetti. Only 5 grams digestible carbs per serving, and it really does taste great. Never gummy like other low-carb brands. (Note to manufacturer: Chow, Baby is available for an endorsement deal.)
5 If this is your first time separating eggs, Chow, Baby recommends having at least a dozen on hand. Because it’s fun.
6 Yes, the expensive stuff ($24/lb at Central Market). But the sharper, more robust flavor is worth it. Really.
7 Freshly ground, dammit. If you don’t have black peppercorns left from your last trip to the spice markets of Istanbul, make do with an all-in-one grinder/dispenser from the supermarket.
8 It’s a free country. Throw in whatever you want. Chow, Baby likes blue cheese; some people put in peas, garlic, onions, even – horrors – cream.
9 If you’re using precooked bacon, skip this step and just toss the bits in a serving bowl with the oil and butter and heat it all up in the microwave. Not authentic, but still pretty tasty.
10 Al dente, dammit. If you overcook it, toss it out and start again.
11 You can drain the meat first on a paper towel, but Chow, Baby doesn’t bother – like a bit of oil and butter will kill you after all this.
12 Recipe not included. Pick some up at Sardine’s, Bella Amore, or Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen (mmm, raspberry sauce).