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Saffron Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Saffron Spaghetti alla Carbonara


  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (2 pinches)

  • Salt

  • 1 pound thick spaghetti, such as Barilla brand

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/3 pound pancetta, cut like thick bacon at the deli counter, then diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 egg yolks

  • Black pepper

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese

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


Place the saffron in a small pot with 1 cup cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it steep while the pasta water comes to a boil, about 6-8 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Heads up: reserve 1/2 cup of starchy cooking water just before you drain the spaghetti.

While the water comes to a boil, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just about crisp, 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic after 2-3 minutes and stir for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the wine and turmeric. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the reserved starchy cooking water. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Pour the saffron water over the pasta and toss to combine, then season with pepper. Add in half the cheese and all of the parsley, pour in the tempered eggs and turn off the heat. Toss the spaghetti to coat evenly in the golden sauce. Top with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.