Spaghetti Carbonara is named for the coal miner. And yet, there is nothing smoky about the original version—guanciale and pancetta are both unsmoked cuts of pork. So, I used smoked salt and smoked bacon to reinforce the classic pasta’s namesake. I even added a bit of smoked salt to the pasta water, although I couldn’t determine if that made any difference. The result is as luscious and creamy as the original, but with a decidedly winter-in-a-log-cabin meets mountain-backyard American attitude. I love this version.
Read more: The Secret Ingredient: Smoked Salt
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 zucchini, cut into a very fine julienne (optional; use a julienne peeler)
- 2 cups cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup Romano cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 slices bacon, diced
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt, including 1 tablespoon smoked salt (optional). Cook the spaghetti until just under al dente. Add the zucchini 1 to 2 minutes before the pasta is done, and drain with the pasta (optional).
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large high-sided pan on medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook until crisp. Add the wine, if you want to.
Drain the pasta.
Take the pan off the hot burner, and shut off the heat. Whisk together the eggs and cream and cheeses in a separate bowl, and pour them into the pan. Put over a very low flame, and add the pasta. Season with smoked salt and cracked black pepper. Heat very low until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta.
Top with more Parmesan, smoked salt, and the chopped parsley.