The Silkiest Carbonara

My own kids that are in braces love to eat pasta dishes, and this is a really good one. Recipe is from Bon Appetit.

At Pirelli’s restaurant in Rome, chef Barbara Lynch ate what was, for her, the perfect carbonara: The sauce was bright yellow from fresh eggs, and each rigatoni hid cubes of fatty pancetta (or bacon). In Boston, where Lynch has five restaurants, she set out to master the dish. Her yolk-heavy recipe is beyond creamy—without cream!—with a heady mix of peppercorns (you can substitute black pepper for all and it’s still great). It’s unlike any clumpy carbonaras you’ve had. The tricks? She omits most of the egg whites; their water thins the sauce. Too much cheese overthickens it, so she gradually adds Pecorino while tossing the pasta until she hits the right consistency (the sauce should be loose enough to drag the pasta through). Lynch was right: It’s a pasta worth mastering.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4–6

1/4 pound pancetta (or bacon), cut into 1/3-inch cubes

7 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 pound rigatoni

Kosher salt

1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan plus more for garnish

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground green peppercorns

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pink pepper

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Put pancetta (or bacon) in a large skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until fat renders but pancetta is not browned, about 5 minutes. Pour into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings. Transfer pancetta to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add egg yolks and egg to bowl; whisk to blend.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

To egg mixture, immediately add rigatoni, 2 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid, and 1 tsp. pancetta drippings; toss to coat. Working in 3 batches, gradually add Pecorino, stirring and tossing to melt between batches. Add green, pink, and white pepper (or 1 1/2–2 tsp. black pepper) and pancetta; toss until sauce thickens, adding more pasta water by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Divide among bowls. Garnish with Pecorino.