After watching Frankie make a big pot of Linguine alla Carbonara on one of my favorite shows, Better Things, I had craving for the delicious, creamy pasta. I have made it a couple times since and it is a very simple dish. The recipe I use is from Lidia Bastianich’s cookbook titled Lidia’s Italian-American kitchen. Lidia explains that you often see this dish cooked with cream. However, that is not the traditional style. Traditional carbonara is made with egg yolks. The heat of the pasta is enough to cook the egg yolks.
6 ounces slab bacon
2 TBS olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
1 pound linguine, I use spaghetti noodles, you can use whatever you prefer
3 egg yolks
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Coarsely ground black pepper
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the linguine.
Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch thick slices, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the bacon, cook for about 6 minutes. Bacon should be soft in center and lightly browned.
If there is more than 3-4 TBS of oil in the skillet, remove to make 3-4 TBS of oil. Add the onions with the bacon and cook for about 4-5 minutes, the onions should be wilted but still crunchy. Add the stock, bring to a boil and adjust to simmer. Reduce the sauce by half.
Cook the linguine semi-covered until cooked to your desire.
Ladle off a cup of the pasta water. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water and drop it into the sauce, stir to coat. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, check the seasoning, add salt if necessary. Add chicken stock or pasta water if there is not enough sauce to coat the pasta.
Meanwhile, separate your eggs and whisk each yolk slightly, you will want to keep them separate as they need to be added one at a time.
Remove the pasta from heat and stir in each egg yolk separately. A salad fork and spoon works well for this part. Stir vigorously while each yolk is added to avoid the eggs becoming scrambled.
Add the cheese and black pepper. Serve immediately