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BLT-Style Carbonara Pasta

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large, ripe heirloom tomato or 4 plum or Roma tomatoes
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle, such as Del Verde brand or other wide, long-cut pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 pound lean, good quality bacon, smoky speck or milder pancetta, chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick, washed and dried on clean towel
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small chili pepper, such as Fresno or Italian cherry chili pepper, finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 large, organic egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Lots of freshly grated Pecorino cheese
PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Score an X into tomato skin, place in boiling water to a count of 30, then remove to a bowl of ice water with tongs or spider. Peel, seed and chop tomato and reserve.

Salt boiling water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: you will need some starchy cooking water to temper the egg yolks, so reserve a cup or so before draining pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO. Add bacon, speck or pancetta, and cook until almost crisp. Add leeks, garlic and chili, stir a couple of minutes then add wine and reduce by half. Add parsley and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low.

When pasta is about ready, add about 1/2 cup starchy water to the eggs while beating them with a fork to temper them. Toss pasta with bacon and eggs, turn off heat, then toss vigorously a full minute, using more starchy water if the pasta tightens up (the yolks should cover pasta smoothly).

Serve with Pecorino at the table for passing.

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