This version of pasta carbonara, or coal miner’s pasta, is quite a diversion from the traditional recipe. It includes beautiful, wide, curly-edged mafaldine noodles, sweet, charred corn and smokey bacon. Conversely, the egg and cheese based sauce is very much authentic, and does not include cream, as many Americanized versions do.
This version of pasta carbonara, or coal miner’s pasta, is quite a diversion from the traditional recipe. It includes beautiful, wide, curly-edged mafaldine noodles, sweet, charred corn and smokey bacon.
- ½ lb mafaldine, pappardelle or fettuccine pasta*
- 1 ear of corn**
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz bacon, cut into ½ – ¾ inch cubes (preferably thick cut or slab bacon)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving (parmigiano reggiano also works well)
- Chives, finely chopped, for garnish (I used Chinese chives)
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Boil water & heat pan: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat.
- Grill corn: Lightly coat corn in oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, or until charred and cooked on all sides. Allow to cool slightly, cut off kernels from cob, and set aside.
- Cook bacon: Add bacon to a large, dry nonstick pan and turn heat to medium. Slowly render fat and crisp bacon, stirring as needed, about 8-12 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving fat in pan.
- Cook pasta: While bacon is cooking, add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Mix sauce: Beat eggs and cheese together in a small bowl and season with pepper. Do not add salt at this time.
- Cook pasta with sauce & serve: Add hot pasta to bacon fat and toss to combine. Remove pan from heat. Add egg mixture and about 2 tablespoons of pasta water to pan. Toss noodles in sauce, stirring constantly, or until thickened, being careful not to scramble the eggs. The sauce should be smooth and creamy. The eggs will cook to a safe temperature by the residual heat. Add additional pasta water to thin sauce, if needed. Stir in bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with additional cheese, and garnish with chives. Enjoy.
- Mafaldine and pappardelle pastas can be found at certain Whole Foods locations, Italian specialty stores or online.
- If you cannot find fresh corn, substitute with ¾ cup of frozen corn, defrosted. Instead of grilling, sauté corn for about 2 minutes in bacon fat before adding pasta and eggs to pan.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Italian, New American
- Serving Size: ⅓ of pasta
- Calories: 316
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 691mg
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Protein: 20g
Keywords: carbonara, pasta, corn, bacon