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Ed Cotton's duck carbonara recipe, an interesting twist on an Italian classic

The rich flavor of duck permeates the creamy sauce in this twist on an Italian classic.
The rich flavor of duck permeates the creamy sauce in this twist on an Italian classic.
Published with permission of Sotto 13

Ed Cotton, executive chef at Sotto 13, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan's West Village specializing in small plates, shares his reimagined version of pasta carbonara. It's rich, decadent, and certainly a labor of love.

14 last minute Valentine's Day dinner recipes


  • 15 oz double-smoked bacon, cut into ¼-in-thick strips
  • 25 oz pancetta, cut into ¼-in-thick strips
  • 2 ½ lbs coarsely ground duck
  • 1 oz finely chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ c finely diced white onion
  • 25 large white mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 2 ½ c heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ c English peas
  • 1 pound fresh tagliatelle
  • Grated Parmesan, to taste
  • Roughly chopped parsley, to taste
  • 4 egg yolks


1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and pancetta, and cook until the fat has rendered and both are crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside in a large pot.

2. To the same pan, add the duck and sauté until golden brown, keeping it in large chunks, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the duck meat to the pancetta and bacon mix.

4. To the same pan, add the garlic and onion, and sauté until very translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Then, add the mushrooms, and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and combine with the pancetta, bacon, and duck mixture.

6. To the mixture, add the bay leaf, chicken stock, and heavy cream. Place the pot on the stove, and simmer until all the flavors have developed, for about 30 minutes. Season with pepper, to taste.

7. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a small bowl with ice water. Blanch the peas until cooked through but still bright green, and transfer to the ice bath. Drain, and set aside.

8. In another large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente.

9. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss the pasta with about 2 c of the sauce. Stir in the peas, and top with Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well, and divide into 4 bowls. Top each with 1 raw egg yolk, and more Parmesan, to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4

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