Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pasta (Fusilli or Strozzapretti) with Pancetta, Onions, Black Pepper, (Optional) & Egg

3 T olive oil
2 large onions, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup julienned (1/4 x 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch) bacon or pancetta
1 cup chicken stock, canned chicken broth or pasta cooking water
1 T cracked black peppercorns
2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
6 egg yolks (optional)

1 lb. of pasta (fusilli, strozzapretti, ridged pasta)

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. If you would like to serve an egg yolk over each serving, heat a 3-quart pot of water to a simmer.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and adjust the heat to simmering. Simmer 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot, place over medium-low heat and add the sauce and the black pepper. If you plan to serve the egg yolks over the pasta, place them in the pot of gently boiling water and cook exactly 3 minutes. The yolks with be firm enough to lift from the water, but still quite runny in the center.

If necessary, add enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to the pasta to make a creamy sauce that lightly coats the pasta. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the grated cheese and divide the pasta among 6 serving bowls. To serve the egg yolks, lift them from the water with a small slotted spoon and place carefully crack open an egg and spoon out the yolk over the pasta. Repeat with the remaining yolks.

Serves 6


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