Yesterday Mike Easton told us about the origins of his love for pasta. Today he's giving us the recipe for one of his favorites. The menu at Il Corvo changes daily, so you never know if you'll be able to get any specific dish--though you're always sure to find hand-made pastas, small batch sauces, and a great meal. With this recipe, though, you'll be able to recreate Il Corvo's proscuitto and duck egg carbonara in your own home. Easton chose this recipe to share, saying "True carbonara is an amazingly rich and luxurious dish that, once the minimal amount of prep work is done, can be literally tossed together in a bowl upon finishing boiling your pasta, and subsequently is a show stopper."
For four servings:
1 pound good quality spaghetti or linguini (fresh from Il Corvo, preferably)
6 duck egg yolks
3/4 lb prosciutto ends (ask your local salumi slinger)
1/2 cup Parmagiano Reggiano, grated fine
1 tsp chili flake (optional)
To begin, put your largest pot of heavily salted water on to boil.
First, acquire 3/4 pound of fatty prosciutto ends from your favorite deli. Trim them of any skin, being sure to leave the fat intact, remove any string left over from sewing up the leg, and mince the fat and meat finely. A meat grinder or food processor will help with this step. Next, put the ground/minced prosciutto and fat into a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat and begin to render out (liquify) the fat, stirring frequently. Once the meat is beginning to get crispy and the fat is completely liquified, set the pot aside, off of the heat.
Now, crack and separate the eggs, place the yolks into a medium mixing bowl (large enough to toss 1 pound of pasta in) and do whatever you people do with your extra egg whites (pavlova? meringue?). Beat the yolks until slightly pale and then incorporate the parmesan and optional chili flake.
Now take your rendered fat and crispy bits-o-prosciutto, hopefully cooled off a bit and slowly beat, fat and all, into the egg-yolk-parmesan mixture.
The sauce is done, leave it at room temperature until the pasta is boiled to perfection.
Finally, and preferably table-side, remove the pasta from the boiling water, drain almost completely, and while it is still pipping hot, toss it with the sauce in the bowl. The heat of the pasta, and remaining salty water clinging to it, mixed with the egg mixture, will create a decadent sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of hot pasta water, enjoy hot.