Carbonara Recipe with Heritage Pancetta

Carbonara Recipe with Heritage Pancetta

This is the ultimate weeknight quick comfort meal. Once your ingredients are assembled and the pasta is cooking, it comes together in 15 minutes or less. If you *must* include a vegetable, stir some thawed frozen peas into the mixture at the same time as you add pancetta to the pasta.

Rigatoni Carbonara with Pancetta

Cut pancetta into ½” cubes. Whisk eggs and yolks together in a medium bowl, then mix in ¾ of the grated Parmigiano and several cracks of black pepper. 

Heat 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot, season with ~3T salt. Add pasta and cook until just a bit firmer than al dente. Before draining, carefully scoop out around 2 cups of the cooking liquid to form your sauce. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, prepare your pancetta.

Cook the pancetta in a pot large enough to mix your finished pasta over medium-low heat until all sides are evenly browned and much of the fat has rendered out. Remove cooked pancetta to a plate or small bowl and pour the hot fat out of the pot. This can be used for another purpose, but the flavor is a bit too intense for this pasta. 

Add 2T olive oil to pot you used for pancetta, then add 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, bringing to a simmer over medium heat. Mix in the still-hot rigatoni. Whisk ½ cup of the pasta liquid into the egg and cheese mixture, then stir quickly into the rigatoni and add pancetta, allowing everything to cook while you stir for a minute or two more until the sauce has a creamy consistency. Plate the rigatoni and top with additional black pepper and grated cheese.