Patrick and I were watching an episode of Avec Eric where Eric Ripert (superstar chef and co-owner of the New York restaurant Le Bernardin) explores the food of Tuscany. In this episode, Eric Ripert demonstrates how to make his version of carbonara. Eric puts a French twist on the classic carbonara by adding in creme fraiche instead of cream to give the sauce a bit of tanginess to compliment the richness.
We both love carbonara and have made many variations, but nothing like this! While the recipe calls for a dry pasta, Patrick made fresh pasta from scratch, tossed it into yolks, crème fraiche and 24 month aged parmesan with our 7 hour smoked guanciale (pork cheeks). This is truly a fantastic recipe that has become one of our favorites to make.
Eric Ripert's Pasta Carbonara
Adapted from Eric Ripert's Pasta Carbonara (17:13)
- 8 ounces fresh fettucine
- ½ cup sliced smoked bacon, pancetta, or guanciale, cut into ¼ inch wide lardons
- 2 cups crème fraîche
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh thinly sliced chives or parsley, use as needed
- 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat with plenty of salt.
- Sauté the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. If your bacon doesn't have enough fat, add in a little bit of canola oil. Drain excess oil.
- Add crème fraîche to the same pan as the bacon and as soon as the cream boils, stop the heat and reserve it aside.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta, but leave a little bit of pasta water to add in some moisture to the pasta. If you taste the pasta and it's too bland, then you'll need to adjust seasoning at the end.
- Come back to the pan and whisk the egg yolks into the sauce, add the black pepper and season to taste with salt.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir in the parmesan; let everything sit for one minute to properly absorb all of the flavors.
- Using a serving fork or tongs, twirl a quarter of the pasta and place it in the center of each of four bowls, spoon some of the sauce and garnish over and around the pasta, top with more grated Parmesan as desired, garnish with chives or parsley and serve immediately.