Recipe: Giovanni’s Carbonara Fusilloni

Giovanni’s Randy Truant dishes up pasta, old-country style
Photographs by Joe Vaughn

Randy Truant studied engineering at Lawrence Tech, and when he graduated in 1991, he joined his mother, Fran, at the family’s restaurant, Giovanni’s. It was intended to be for just a short time to help out, but it turned into a culinary career when he discovered how much he loved the world of food and wine. The co-owning mother-son combo is still going strong at the restaurant at 330 S. Oakwood in Detroit. Here’s a recipe for one of his favorite pasta dishes. — Molly Abraham

Carbonara fusilloni (Serves 4)


2 whole eggs plus 6 yolks
¼ cup fresh grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
¼ cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving
½ teaspoon freshly ground pink peppercorns and ½ teaspoon freshly ground green peppercorns, mixed together
1 pinch freshly ground white peppercorns
(Note: 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper can be substituted for peppercorn blend)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced guanciale (¹/³-inch cubes)
Kosher salt
1 pound large Fusilloni Pasta (#39), or any pasta you prefer


In a large metal heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and half the peppercorn mix. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and guanciale over medium heat, stirring frequently until the fat has rendered and the guanciale is on the edge of crispness but not hard. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add pasta gently and stir occasionally until cooked al dente. Using a strainer, transfer pasta to the sauté pan with guanciale and its rendered fat, stirring gently to combine. Slowly add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid to the egg mixture and set the mixing bowl over the top of the water pot, forming a double boiler to gently preheat your egg mixture (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water). Slowly add the pasta mixture to the preheated bowl, making sure not to overheat the mixture. Working quickly, stir until sauce thickens to a creamy, silky consistency that leaves trails as you stir (add additional pasta water if the mixture is too thick). Remove from heat, season with salt if needed, and divide onto serving plates. Finish each dish with freshly grated cheeses and freshly ground pepper mix as desired.