With spring pea season only lasting so long, the time is now to get your hands on some freshly plucked ones as they are hitting their peak.
At Daniel Boulud’s refined Mediterranean restaurant near New York City’s famed Lincoln Center, Boulud Sud, executive chef Travis Swikard dishes up egg yolk rigatoni that’s tossed with two types of peas, grated Parmesan, butter and house-cured pancetta.
And if you can’t find any at your local farmers’ market, frozen peas will certainly suffice to make this recipe at home.
Boulud Sud Spring Rigatoni CarbonaraRecipe courtesy of executive chef Travis Swikard, Boulud Sud, New York City
Yield: 8 portions
For the pancetta:
5 pounds boneless, skinless pork belly
5 thyme sprigs, picked
4 garlic cloves, sliced
4 fresh bay leaves, torn
50 grams kosher salt
40 grams course ground black pepper
26 grams dark brown sugar
12 grams pink salt
10 grams ground juniper berries
4 grams ground nutmeg
For the egg yolk rigatoni:
400 grams water
333 grams fresh egg yolks
200 grams semolina flour, plus more for dusting
50 grams olive oil
1 cup pancetta, julienned
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh peas, shelled
1 cup snow peas, halved
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups grated Parmesan, plus shaved Parmesan, for garnishing
2 tablespoons butter
5 fresh egg yolks
Pea tendrils, for garnish
1. Make the pancetta: Mix together all of the ingredients except for the pork belly and rub all over the meat; cure for two weeks. After two weeks, wrap the pancetta in cheesecloth and hang in the refrigerator for a week and a half. (The pancetta can be frozen up to two months if wrapped in plastic and aluminum.)
2. Make the egg yolk rigatoni: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix all of the ingredients for 15 minutes. Remove from the bowl and let rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, start extruding by cutting every 2 inches. Place the fresh pasta in an air tight container with enough semolina to avoid sticking.
3. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook the rigatoni for until al dente, about 5 minutes. Reserve the pasta water.
4. To assemble: Render the pancetta in a hot pan with olive oil; once 90% cooked, add both peas and season with black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding 2 cups of pasta water from the rigatoni. Toss in the Parmesan and butter.
5. Quickly remove from heat and add the egg yolks. (Add more pasta water if needed.) Garnish with shaved Parmesan and pea tendrils and serve immediately.
Image courtesy of Boulud Sud.