When it gets this cold out, restaurants, coffee shops and bars become our homes. We become nomads that periodically take croissant, cappuccino and cocktail breaks as we move our way through the ice-ridden city. That’s why it’s important to have your mainstays, Sant Ambroeus being one of our favorites. Recently, we can often be found camping out at the Soho outpost, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, so we’re celebrating appropriately – with pasta.
Black Ink Spaghetti Carbonara with Braised Leeks, Pancetta and Poached Egg
1 lb. Black ink spaghetti
1/2 pound of smoky bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
4 organic eggs
5 tablespoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons pecorino cheese
To begin, clean and cut the leeks (Note: only use white and light green parts of the leeks) into matchsticks (Julienne). Separately, cut smoky bacon into a medium dice. Render the bacon and add leeks. Then, salt and pepper before sautéing slightly.
To build the pasta sauce, add vegetable broth to the bacon and leeks, and cook for a few minutes. When the sauce is ready, add cold cubed butter (one piece at a time) and then swirl the sauté pan to emulsify the sauce.
Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Then, add a generous amount of salt and the spaghetti. Cook until the pasta is al dente, then drain. After this, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water for later use.
Add the pasta to the sauce, stir and then add pecorino cheese. Sauté over high heat for a minute to melt the flavors, thinning out the sauce as needed with some of the reserved pasta cooking water.
For the poached egg, bring the water to a slow simmer, then add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and carefully place an egg into the water for 2 minutes. Place the egg on top of the Spaghetti Carbonara, add some extra virgin olive oil, fresh pepper and bon appetit!
*Photographed by Alli Shepherd