Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chilies

Freshly harvested summer corn, herbs and chili peppers are the secret to this pasta carbonara.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle or egg fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4-1/3 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 4 ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob, or 1 1/2-2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 small Fresno or Italian cherry chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 extra-large organic egg yolks, beaten (reserve the egg whites for baking or breakfasts)
  • 1/2 cup each grated (nutty) Parmigiano Reggiano and (tangy) Pecorino Romano cheese
  • A handful of chives, snipped into 1-inch pieces


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.

While the pasta is working, heat the EVOO in a large skillet, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown for about 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels and lightly brown their edges, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili peppers, garlic and thyme and stir for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and wine and simmer on low heat.

In a small bowl, beat the reserved pasta cooking water into the egg yolks to temper them.

Add the pasta and egg yolks to the corn sauce and toss. Remove from the heat, add a handful of each cheese and toss vigorously to form a silky sauce, 1-2 minutes. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and top with the chives and remaining cheese.

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