While online recently, I’ve come across the name Justin Chapple multiple times. When I checked on Amazon, this young chef has already published two cookbooks – Mad Genius Tips, in 2016, and Just Cook it, in 2018.
Chapple is a senior editor at Food & Wine, and obviously quite accomplished… in spite of the fact that he looks 16.
A recipe I spotted online on Food & Wine is the chef’s Smoked Gouda Carbonara. It’s not out of disrespect that I substituted the gouda with smoked mozzarella, it’s just that I often crave smoked mozzarella, and had just received some from Murray’s Cheese.
The recipe is otherwise the same!
Smoked Mozzarella Carbonara
1 pound spaghetti
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
6 ounces grated smoked mozzarella
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces slab bacon, finely diced
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Finely grated Parmesan, for serving
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg, the 1 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Very gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to temper the eggs.
Meanwhile, in the large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until rendered but not crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pasta, crushed red pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. I didn’t get a photo of the egg and cheese mixture going into the pasta because I needed to do it quickly.
Cook, tossing, until the pasta is coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir vigorously until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; add more cooking water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. It took some stirring to completely melt the smoked mozzarella.
Divide the pasta into bowls and serve, passing grated Parmesan at the table.
I served more cayenne pepper flakes as well.
And, not surprisingly to you, I loved this carbonara!