Saffron Spaghetti alla Carbonara
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron, 2 pinches
- 1 pound thick spaghetti, such as Barilla brand
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 pound pancetta, cut like thick bacon at 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 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 pasta water comes to a boil, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: reserve a half cup of starchy cooking water just before you drain spaghetti.
While the water comes to a boil, heat olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until just about crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the garlic after 2 to 3 minutes and stir another 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in wine and turmeric. Beat eggs with starchy cooking water. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Pour saffron water over the pasta and toss to combine, season with pepper. Add in half the cheese and all of the parsley, pour in tempered eggs and turn off heat. Toss the spaghetti to coat evenly in golden sauce. Top with additional cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray, 2008