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Penne Carbonara with Salami


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces (1 pound) smooth-sided penne (or penne rigate, rigatoni, or tortiglioni)
  • 8 ounces Margherita┬« Genoa salami, julienned
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
  • 4 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, grated


  • 1. Set pasta water to boil. Once boiling, salt and add the pasta.
  • 2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large high-sided skillet. Add the minced Genoa salami and cook, stirring over a gentle flame, until the salami has turned lightly crispy, about 7 minutes. Add onion and continue cooking until translucent.
  • 3. Combine the cream and egg yolks in a bowl and lightly beat them.
  • 4. Taste the pasta; when it's just shy of being al dente (about 8 minutes), drain (reserve some water) and transfer to the salami-onion pot. Blend well.
  • 5. Turn the heat up, and cook, stirring. After a few seconds stir in the beaten yolk mixture, the reserved water, and cook for 30 seconds more; the heat of the pasta will cook the egg.
  • 6. Add the Pecorino cheese, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Tip: Smooth-sided penne work better with creamier sauces, because the cream sticks to their sides nicely.