“I didn’t choose this recipe, it chose me,” says Chef Delio Susi with a laugh, when I ask why he chose to share his version of the classic Italian pasta dish, Pasta alla Carbonara, with PRK. Growing up, it was a childhood favorite of Delio which his grandmother used to make for him.
In the version that he makes at his restaurant, Amelia’s Trattoria in Cambridge, Chef Susi adds a couple of twists and variations to his grandmother’s traditional recipe that make it extra special. He adds scallions, a little nutmeg and, most dramatically, a sunny side up egg, which not only tastes good, but also looks just lovely.
Chef Susi cautions that Pasta alla Carbonara is a simple dish to make, but one that is rarely done right. One of the keys is tempering the egg yolk in step three of the recipe with a little hot water from your pasta pot. The result is a creamy sauce that is absolutely delicious.
Carbonara alla Abruzzi (Pasta alla Carbonara)
½ cup Pancetta (about 3 oz.)
Pinch of Nutmeg
½ cup of White Onion
Pinch of Black Pepper
2 Scallion Shoots (just the green)
¼ cup of Shaved Grana Padano cheese
¼ cup Grated Cheese
2 Eggs (one whole egg, one yolk)
8 oz. Spaghettoni (similar to spaghetti)
In a cast iron or non-stick pan render the pancetta with extra virgin olive oil until crispy; add onions and black pepper until onions caramelize. Set aside
Bring a cast iron pan up to medium to high heat with a dash of EVOO (cover the bottom of the pan with oil) crack egg and make it sunny side up. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolk with pinch of nutmeg, 1 oz. of hot water, grated cheese and scallion shoots. Set aside.
Take 8 oz. of spaghettoini out of boiling water and put in the bowl from step 3. Combine pancetta and onion. Add more grated cheese, grana padano and top with sunny side egg. Serve immediately.