A Riff on Carbonara
In this version of spaghettini carbonara, I add fresh herbs, peppery arugula and eggs fried in nutty browned butter. It doesn’t have the same creamy quality of a traditional carbonara, but the browned butter and pancetta give the dish an equally satisfying richness that pairs well with fragrant herbs and arugula.
Spaghettini with Arugula, Pancetta & Eggs
- 1 pound spaghettini
- 1/2 pound pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 ounces baby arugula (about 4 cups)
- 5 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (about 2 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
Total Time: 45 min
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, cook the pancetta in the oil over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot, parsley, chives, thyme and crushed red pepper.
Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the skillet and toss over low heat, scraping to remove any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until almost all of the water has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in the arugula and transfer the spaghetti to a wide, shallow serving bowl. Toss with the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and nutty smelling, about 5 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are just set and the yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slide the eggs into the pasta and toss, breaking up the eggs to distribute them evenly. Serve hot.