It was late. I was tired and hungry, and all I wanted was a great bowl of pasta. I recalled that Luigi Quarto, owner of Luigi Q, once told me he made a special carbonara with sliced cabbage and—this was the deal maker—without cream. A proper carbonara is bound together by egg alone; cream doesn’t enter into it. Of course purists could argue that cabbage shouldn’t really enter into it either, but Quarto generally knows what he’s doing, so I pointed my car in the direction of Hicksville.
I’m so glad I did. The carbonara, made with linguine, was utterly delicious. The cabbage added a light, vegetal, but entirely welcome note, further heightened by some chopped fresh parsley. The dish isn’t on the menu, but Luigi Q is happy to make it for you.
Luigi Q is at 400A South Oyster Bay Rd., Hicksville, 516-932-7450.
Newsday photo / Erica Marcus