Performing Art

Lincoln's Jonathan Benno revisits classic carbonara

When Jonathan Benno was updating pasta carbonara for his highly anticipated New York restaurant, Lincoln, the former Per Se chef decided that the traditional Italian method of using the pasta's cooking water to create a creamy sauce didn't quite match the restaurant's lavish looks. So the meticulous chef reduced heavy cream and employed a garnish of peppercorn-stuffed pecorino cheese to give the dish extra bite. In such a minimalist recipe, the quantity of the seasonings truly matters: Use a generous hand with the pepper and cheese, and your carbonara will be just as lush as Lincoln's.

Recipe adapted from Jonathan Benno, Lincoln, NYC

Maccheroni Alla Carbonara
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Lincoln's Jonathan Benno revisits classic carbonara
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces maccheroni or similar tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ pound pancetta, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Pecorino pepato or Pecorino-Romano cheese
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the cream over medium-low heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and ¾ teaspoon black pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and cooking water to the skillet and toss over medium heat until coated. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Slowly whisk the egg yolks into the warm cream. Add the cream-egg mixture to the skillet; toss to coat and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Divide the pasta among 4 plates and generously grate the pecorino over the top to taste. Serve immediately.
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