As many Tavola regulars know, there is history behind the restaurant’s unusual take on carbonara, the popular Roman pasta dish with a sauce of eggs, cheese, and either pancetta or guanciale. While Tavola chef-owner Michael Keaveny includes all of those in his linguine carbonara, he also adds something rarely seen in the dish: sausage. Why? That’s the way Keaveny learned how to make it.
As a teeanger in Hartford, Connecticut, Keaveny lived just around the corner from the legendary Italian-American restaurant Carbone’s. Growing up, Keaveny says, it was “kind of a given” that he would work at Carbone’s as soon as he was old enough. There, where Keaveny started as a dishwasher before working his way up, the carbonara always included sausage. That was the way Keaveny figured it was supposed to be made. Plus, he says, it was delicious. And so, when, many years later Keaveny opened his own Italian restaurant, his carbonara contained sausage, just like at Carbone’s.
Has it been a hit? Well, yes. Tavola recently marked its tenth anniversary, and in its first decade served 24,593 plates of linguine carbonara.
And now, you can make it yourself.
To celebrate the ten year mark, Tavola has released a book, tavola – 10 greatest hits, music and food, with recipes of some of the restaurant’s most beloved dishes. Because Keaveny’s ingredient-driven approach to food often minimalizes chef intrusion, many of the dishes are not difficult to execute at home. Available online and at New Dominion, among other outlets, the book also includes recommended pairings, both wine and music.
So, what sounds good with Tavola’s linguine carbonara? Bod Dylan’s When I Paint My Masterpiece.