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Carbonara with Saffron

Carbonara with Saffron


  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound linguine, tagliatelle or egg tagliatelle pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (2 pinches)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/3 pound thick-cut pancetta (from the deli counter), chopped into 1/4-inch dice

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (2/3 palmful)

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1/2-2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more to pass around the table

  • A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of pasta cooking water. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock and saffron to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the wine and turmeric. Beat the egg yolks with the reserved pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet. Pour in the saffron stock and toss; season with pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolks, cheese and parsley. Pass extra cheese at the table.