I say spaghetti, but as often as not I use tagliatelle â€“ most usually the fresh egg pasta, which cooks in no time at all, which is precisely why I use it. If I was cooking for friends, or suggesting this as date food, Iâ€™d probably go ahead with penne â€“ for less sauce all over the face potential. But for a lover? Slurping and mess doesnâ€™t feel like a bad thing.
Thereâ€™s lightly cooked egg in it. Make sure you use good organic eggs you can trust. If youâ€™re feeding this to pregnant people and you donâ€™t want to take the risk, swap out the eggs for a generous Â¼ cup of cream â€“ itâ€™s not the same, but it is still really good.
Ingredients (serves 4 â€“ 6 if you add in a salad, but I wouldnâ€™t significantly alter the quantities for a midnight feast a deux)1 packet of spaghetti Â½ cup cubed pancetta (I buy a huge lump, then chop it portion it up and freeze â€“ itâ€™s fine to cook it from frozen â€“ but you could use bacon at a push) 1 small onion (optional) 2 cloves of garlic Â½ cup of white wine 2 large fresh egg yolks Â½ cup of parmesan cheese plus extra for grating on top Salt and pepper Olive Oil
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it generously and tip in the spaghetti. Let it boil for 1 minute less than the packet instructions so that it is al dente
- Dice the onion finely and fry it in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Throw in the cubed pancetta and fry until crispy. Grate or finely chop the garlic and add this too turning in the oil for 30 secs â€“ 1 minute (any more and it will burn and taste awful).
- Pour the wine in and scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan into the liquid to make a scant sauce.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Season with salt (not too much because the bacon is salty) and lots of pepper.
- Pour a ladle of pasta water into the eggs and mix it in â€“ this heats the eggs up a bit so theyâ€™re less likely to scramble when they hit the hot pasta, and the starch in the water helps thicken the sauce slightly.
- Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan.
- Off the heat add the bacon mixture then the parmesan and the egg yolk mixture. Stir everything for a couple of minutes. Itâ€™s amazing to watch the mess turn into a thin glistening sauce.
- Serve with extra black pepper and parmesan cheese.
This recipe originally appeared with a musing on the origin of a mysterious text message and the dramas it hinted at.