Lemon-Scented Carbonara

Aired May 6, 2011

1 pound egg tagliatelle
3 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 pound pancetta, chopped into fine dice
About 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped, optional
1 bunch thin scallions, finely chopped, whites and greens separated
Zest and juice of 1 large, ripe organic lemon
About 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3/4 to 1 cup dry white wine, a couple turns of the pan
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
3 large organic egg yolks
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano, a couple of handfuls
Shredded basil and diced yellow tomato, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When boiling rapidly, salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of starchy water just before draining pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Add pancetta, season with black pepper and brown lightly. Stir in garlic, chili (if using), whites of scallions, zest the lemon over the pan and stir in thyme. Stir 2-3 minutes then add wine and reduce by half, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

When pasta is about ready, beat the egg yolks with the reserved starchy water to temper. Add lemon juice, parsley and greens of onions to pan.

Drain pasta and add to pan. Turn off heat, pour in tempered eggs and sprinkle in a small handful of each of the cheeses. Toss vigorously 1-2 minutes until the sauce coats pasta and it's thick and shiny. Serve in shallow bowls with a little extra cheese, shredded basil and diced yellow tomatoes on top.

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