Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Crisp Zucchini & Eggplant - The Chef Upstairs

Serves 4  

Ingredients:3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, 8 ounces Pancetta or good Bacon, 1 lb Spaghetti, 1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano, Reggiano, 4 large Eggs separated, Freshly ground Black Pepper, 2 tbsp salt.


A true carbonara has no cream, and it can be slightly tricky in its execution. The key is to toss and  thoroughly mix the cooked pasta off the heat with the cheese, eggs, pepper, and pasta water, to create a  creamy yet not overly thick sauce. I like to separate the eggs and present the individual egg yolks in nests  of pasta; then each guest stirs the yolk into the pasta to cook it and form an even creamier sauce. Be sure to use the best—quality eggs you can get.  

1.Slice zucchini and eggplant into thin slices and sauté on medium high heat until crisp and browned.  Set aside.  

2.Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot and add 2 to 3 tablespoons salt so that the water tastes  like the ocean.  

3. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and pancetta in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan set over medium heat,  and cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and  set aside (do not drain the fat). (for vegetarian – omit the pancetta)  

4.Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente. Scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta cooking  water and set aside. Drain the pasta.  

5. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta, then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking  the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano, the egg whites, and  pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed. (Optional – add the egg yolk now vs at the end)  

6.Mound the zucchini and eggplant onto 4 plates or pasta bowls then divide the pasta equally and  place on top of the mound. Make a nest in the center of each, and gently drop an egg yolk into each  nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.

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