Eggs are one of those ingredients I find myself falling more and more in love with every time I crack one open – and that is saying a lot considering I have spent hours cracking eggs for various pastry items. Recently I’ve been trying to improve my egg preparation skills by tackling some egg-centric classics. While I’m still trying to get restaurant quality poachers just right I have managed to create a carbonara recipe that I will someday put on a restaurant menu.
Now, the concept behind carbonara is one that I discovered by almost backing my way into it. When I was honing my soft boil technique and got tired of simply eating the delicious yolky on toast I began tossing a few with udon noodles and some salt. THis has now become a quick -and oft prepared- meal in our house. So, when I discovered that yolks were a central part of classic carbonara the experimenting began.
Traditionally carbonara is a basic combination of yolks, pancetta and parmesan so this is where I started. It was easy to pull together and even easier to devour in an embarrassingly short amount of time. And while I now have a profound respect for the classic version I felt there was an opportunity to introduce a slightly different flavor profile. I experimented with some spices -nutmeg and smoked salt proved to be excellent additions- but it was hard to find a flavor that played perfectly with the pancetta. So i stepped even further back and swapped the pancetta with prosciutto and introduced some spiciness with fresh rocket tossed with the final dish. It is incredibly easy to make and makes for a rather impressive offering for last minute dinner guests.
3 slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips the fattiest pieces separated out
1 package udon noodles
1/4 C finely grated pecorino
2 C rocket, roughly chopped
1. Heat a skillet over medium high and add the leaner prosciutto. Let it cook for 30-60 seconds until the edges start to curl slightly them place in a bowl and set aside to cool.
2. While the prosciutto cools prepared the duo according to the package instructions only reserve 2 Tbs of the cooking water.
3. Once the prosciutto has cooled add the yolks and the udon noodles and stir until evenly mixed.
4. In the same skillet heat the remaining fatty prosciutto over medium heat until transparent then add the udon. Toss to coat then add immediately to the egg mixture along with the 2 Tbs of udon cooking water and the pecorino. Stir quickly to incorporate all the ingredients evenly.
5. Add the rocket right before you serve and toss to blend. Serve with extra cheese for sprinkling over top.