This is Mashama’s version of a pasta carbonara. When you look at the ingredients and see pork belly, you know it is going to be better than any version I have ever cooked. Our guests at The Grey wait with bated breath for this dish; and when it appears on the menu, I am always at the front of the line.—JOM
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Season the pork belly with 1 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons of the black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the red pepper flakes. Place the pork belly in a baking dish and cover with the lard. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 4 to 6 hours, until fork-tender. Let the pork cool in the fat in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the pork belly from the lard and, with a paring knife, separate the meat from the fat layer. Cube the meat into a ¼-inch dice. Reserve the pork fat.
- Fill a large stockpot with water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Put 2 tablespoons of the pork fat in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced pork belly meat and crisp so that it has a bit of a crust, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Throw the pasta into the boiling water and cook till al dente. We always taste it 2 minutes before the instructions on the box tell you it’ll be done, so we don’t overcook it. (Nothing worse than mushy pasta.)
- In a large serving bowl, combine the egg yolks, crisped pork belly, 1 tablespoon salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons black pepper, and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes. Before you strain your pasta, take 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and whisk it into the egg mixture, tempering your egg yolks. Strain your pasta and dump it into the bowl. Add the 1 cup cheese and mix well. Serve it immediately, passing extra cheese and red pepper flakes at the table (never a bad idea).
Reprinted with permission from Black, White, and The Greyby Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano, copyright (c) 2021. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.