Papalina, or at least the way I learned it, is similar to Pasta alla Carbonara in preperation and basic ingredients. A cured meat, eggs, hot pasta and a flavorful aged cheese. Granted, Carbonara has a bit more punch with the Cracked Black Pepper and a slightly cleaner palate feel because of the Lemon Zest. But, don't let this deter you from making Papalina, as it is QUITE delicious in it's own right. All kinds of Buttery, Shalloty, Prosciuttoy, and Grana Padanoy. Yes, I know I am making up words... Hey, if it was good enough for Pope Pius the XII then it must be divinely inspired, right?
The real trick with the Papalina is that the construction of the sauce does take place in the pan and not on the pasta in layers like Pasta alla Carbonara. Just be careful not to over cook and scramble your eggs (the cheese and cream help to prevent this, but it is still possible. I know, I have done it. Though they were the tastiest scrambled eggs, ever!!)
Linguine alla Papalina
12 oz Linguine
4 oz butter
1 Shallot, diced
4 oz Prosciutto, diced
1 Egg yolk
4 oz Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated; Divided
3 TB heavy cream
Kosher salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions... yaddah yaddah yaddah....
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 oz butter.
When the butter foams, add the shallot and prosciutto and sauté until the shallot is soft.
Remove from skillet and set aside
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, 2 oz of the Grana cheese, and the cream
Add the remaining of the butter to your skillet.
When the butter begins to foam, add the egg mix and either toss quickly or use a whisk to prevent curdle.
Add the sautéed prosciutto, salt and pepper. (beware of over salting, grana is salty and so is prosciutto)
Pour over warm linguine
Toss briskly, if the sauce seems a little too thick, either add a little pasta water, or a little warm cream.
with remaining 2 oz of grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano.