When the first waif of cold air signals Fall, we are excited about all the hearty dishes we can indulge in.
Today we had a fabulous lunch at Le Canard Enchaine, a wonderful French bistro in Kingston, NY.
The plate du jour was Pasta Carbonara (with Lardon instead of bacon).
Here is Nigella Lawson’s version to replicate at home:
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 cups cubed pancetta (or lardons)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ cup dry white wine (or vermouth)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- black pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Cut the pancetta into 1 x 1.5cm / ½ x ¼ inch cubes. If the pancetta has its rind on, cut it off – and use a bigger piece of pancetta, as the amount I’ve specified is for the prepared cubes – and put the rind in a pan with a film of oil and cook it gently to render down.
- Then in a large pan that will fit the pasta later, cook the pancetta cubes in the oil until crispy but not crunchy. Chuck over them the white wine or vermouth and let it bubble away so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of salty winey syrup left. Take the pan off the heat.
- In a bowl, beat together the eggs, Parmesan, cream and some pepper. Cook the pasta more or less according to the packet instructions, but since you want it kept al dente start checking it 2 minutes before the wrapper says it’s done. Lower in a cup and remove approximately 125ml / ½ cup of the pasta water before draining. Put the other pan, the one with the bacon cubes, on the heat and add the drained pasta, tossing well to coat with the syrupy pancetta. Add a little of the reserved pasta water to lubricate if necessary.
- Take the pan off the heat again and add the eggs and cheese mixture, swiftly tossing everything to mix. Grind over some more pepper and grate over the nutmeg, carry proudly aloft, and dive in.