Recipe: Bucatini alla Carbonara

A celebrity chef spurred The Fed’s Jakobi Voorheis’ interest in cooking
Photographs by Dan Morgner/Vaughn Images

Jakobi Voorheis, executive chef at the Fed in Clarkston, grew up in mid-Michigan but spent five years of his childhood in Saltillo, capital of the Mexican state of Coahuila. Voorheis says his family is a “melting pot — Canadian, Puerto Rican, Irish, Mexican, and German. My parents cooked a lot and we always had family meals, which is where I fell in love with food. I first cooked this dish after watching Emeril Live and seeing Emeril [Lagasse] making something similar when I was probably 9 or 10 years old.” He adds, jokingly: “This recipe is mainly for drunken nights and ambitious mornings these days. It is just so versatile you can add whatever you want to make it your own.”

Bucatini alla Carbonara (Serves 4)

5 eggs
1 cup Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
1 pound dry bucatini pasta
2 ounces olive oil
½ pound jowl bacon or pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper

Combine eggs, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Bring four quarts of water to a boil add a heavy pinch of salt. Add pasta to water (check package for timing if using dried pasta). Cook pasta to two minutes before it becomes al dente — a little firmer than you normally would. In a separate pan, cook jowl bacon in one ounce of olive oil until golden brown. Drain pasta and reserve one cup pasta water. Add pasta to hot jowl bacon and cover with remaining olive oil. Add ½ cup of pasta water and bring to a simmer. In a separate pre-warmed bowl, place the pasta/ jowl bacon mixture. Add the cheese and egg mixture to the bowl of pasta and stir vigorously. Add remaining pasta water to achieve desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to your favorite plate or bowl and top with chopped parsley, black pepper, and some freshly grated Parmesan.