Travels kept me away from the Farmer’s Market this week, but happily there are local eggs in the house and also a little La Quercia “Crumble.”
Like foams, “deconstructed” dishes were all the rage for a while. Ferran Adria popularized the idea of breaking a dish into its constituent parts then reassembling them in unexpected ways that still preserve, in his words, the “spirit” of the dish.
The familiar carbonara recipe sautés garlic then pancetta, adds and reduces a little white wine, and tosses the result with cooked pasta, beaten egg, and grated parmigiano-reggiano and romano cheeses. Here we modestly reinvent the classic, “coconstructing” the first part of the dish, then serving the rest of the “sauce” in the form of a lightly poached egg.
“Coconstructed” Pasta Carbonara
- 1 lb pasta
- 4 fresh eggs
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled then crushed
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 2 Tb flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 ounces guanciale, pancetta, bacon, or “crumble”
- 2 Tb olive oil, plus
- Pepper, to taste
Start the pasta boiling. Spaghetti is the classic choice, but follow your heart. Warm 4 serving bowls.
Sauté crushed but whole garlic cloves until golden, remove from pan and discard, then add the cured pork of choice. Guanciale is the classic ideal, with pancetta a close second. Smoked bacon is fine too, or La Quercia Prosciutto “Crumble,” which I used here. Render a bit of fat into the pan, add white wine, reduce to a glaze, then remove from the heat.
Poach 4 eggs until the whites are just set, and the yolks warm and still liquid.
Add pan contents to the cooked pasta, toss with grated cheese, and season with pepper. Portion equally in the heated bowls, top each serving with a poached egg, and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately. Breaking the egg “reconstitutes” and completes the sauce, and the texture is quite amazing.