Last December I was in the audience of the Martha Stewart Show where Eric Ripert was the guest. I’ve always been a fan of his so I was thrilled to see him cook in person. His recipes are thoughtful, simple and luxurious; exactly what you’d expect from a four-star Chef. One of the dishes he made on the show was this carbonara, a French version of the Italian classic. I think the biggest difference between the versions is that Eric’s recipe calls for two cups of creme fraiche. Decadence to say the least! It also uses applewood-smoked bacon in lieu of Italian Salami. I wouldn’t put such a rich meal on our weekly rotation, but it is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal at home. Pair it with some delicious wine and a soft green salad and you are all set for delicious, romantic evening.
Eric Ripert’s Carbonara
adapted from the Martha Stewart Show on December 7th
1/2 cup chopped applewood-smoked bacon
2 cups creme fraiche
2 large egg yolks
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch sea salt
8 ounces tagliatelle or fettucini
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
1. Fill a large pot with water, add a few tablespoons of kosher salt and bring it to a boil over high heat.
2. Meanwhile, in the a large skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until crisp. Then add in the creme fraiche, stirring it around the pot until it comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat and quickly whisk in the egg yolks, salt, and pepper until completely incorporated.
3. Cook the tagliatelle in the boiling water until al dente. Then drain the pasta water and add it straight to the skillet with the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan and the chives. Twirl the pasta into four pasta bowls and serve.