My absolute favorite pasta is carbonara, and one night I came home with an intense craving for it. Even though I was absolutely dying to make carbonara, I didn’t have the right ingredients. So I thought I might be able to get that satisfaction of salty, creamy noodles in a different way. I looked around for what I did have: a bit of cream, some eggs, some dried pasta, a can of anchovies, and my beloved hazelnuts. And even though it wasn’t carbonara, it was what I needed that night. I now make this without measuring, and if I am very hungry, I simply add more pasta to the pot.
heavy cream (if you are a real cream lover, add a little more)
freshly ground black pepper
fettucine, or another dry noodle pasta
chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts
In a small saucepan, combine the anchovies, cream, and pepper and warm over medium heat. The anchovies often start to melt in the sauce as they warm up, but you can help the process along by pressing the anchovies with a fork as they heat. Once the cream begins to bubble on the edges, turn off the heat and pulse a couple of times with an immersion blender or use a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies and make the sauce smoother. Cover to keep the sauce warm.
While the cream and anchovies cook together, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. While the pasta cooks, have the yolks ready to go. (I prop the yolks up in their shells so they are easy to slide on top of the finished pasta.)
Drain the noodles in a colander and then return them to the pot. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir well to combine. Divide the pasta between two bowls and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Place a yolk on top of each bowl and serve immediately.