Pasta Carbonara by Guest Chef Nemo Bolin


1/4# fresh pasta (we use fettuccine for our version)*
1/4 C. slab bacon, diced **
2 large egg yolks
Pecorino romano ***
Black pepper, fresh cracked
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Sliced chives

*We use fresh pasta because we believe the “sauce” clings to fresh pasta better than dried pasta.

**This recipe is based upon using the best ingredients possible.  We smoke our own cured pork belly and make it into slab bacon.  This is slightly non-traditional but we think the subtle smokiness is a welcome addition.  Feel free to use well made pancetta, guanciale, or even speck.

***Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano are not the same thing.  Also, neither comes from a can or should be purchased pre-shredded.  But you should be using Pecorino here.  It’s a classic dish from Rome.  Save the Parm for your Bolognese sauce (or, our Bolognese sauce)

Put a pot of water on to boil. When it boils add some salt to the water.  Place the egg yolks in a medium sized mixing bowl (not the bowl you plan on serving and eating the finished dish out of, although sometimes plans change).

In a medium sized saute pan add a T of olive oil, a healthy pat of butter, and the diced bacon.  Render the bacon over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until crisp on all sides but not cooked all the way through (3-6 min).  Turn off pan and set aside.

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente (2-4 minutes). *If you’re feeling like a rock star you can render the bacon and cook the pasta at the same time.  No pressure, though.  With a basket strainer or tongs transfer the pasta from the water to the pan with the rendered bacon.  Add 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water to the pan as well.  Cook on high heat until most (75% of the water has evaporated).  Now transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl with the egg yolks.  Using tongs, long tweezers, chop sticks, a fork, or whatever you have on hand to stir the egg yolks into the pasta mixture.  Add 20 grinds of fresh black pepper and 1/4 C. of grated Pecorino Romano.  Continue stirring to incorporate all ingredients.  If the sauce looks thin or watery place the bowl on top of the pasta cooking pot and stir for 20-30 seconds to continue cooking the egg yolks.  If the cheese has not melted and the sauce looks grainy add an additional 2-3 T of pasta cooking water and continue to stir until a creamy consistency is achieved.  Check for salt and add a pinch if necessary.

Portion into serving bowls and finish with a couple grinds of black pepper, a few gratings of pecorino, and a sprinkling of chives.

Enjoy with our 2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir! Purchase wine

Recipe and pairing by guest Chef Nemo Bolin of Cook and Brown Public House!