Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pasta Carbonara with Peas and Bacon

I hate that pasta exists. I really do. It's not fair.

I also hate that pasta carbonara exists. It's mean.

Okay, maybe that's not exactly true. Maybe I love pasta. Maybe I love pasta too much. But only maybe. I won't admit to anything.

I've been scared to make pasta carbonara. Terrified, really. It has eggs in it. Eggs that need to just barely cook to thicken up the sauce. Not scramble. That would make a nasty, slimy, goopy mess. Eggs also seriously freak me out. I'll eat them, but they're not my favorite thing. They wiggle weird.

I'm scared of adding eggs to things, "tempuring" eggs, if you will, mostly because of an incident when I tried to make homemade pudding when I was about 15. I had a pudding CRAVING and we didn't have any in my house. Of course, being a teenager this was unacceptable. Completely ridiculous to NOT have pudding, right?

So, I tried to make some. Heated some milk and cocoa powder in a saucepan, added some things, and then came the horror. The "tempuring." Shudder. My milk mixture was too hot, and instead of adding the hot mixture to the eggs a little bit at a time, I put the eggs directly into the saucepan and stirred vigorously. Please, I'm begging you to not try to visualize the chocolate-scrambled egg mess that resulted. I'm cringing. I'm sorry I told you that. Please forgive me.

On a better note, this carbonara did not come out like that. It came out perfectly. Carbonara to me means bacon and peas. Perfection, really. Nest time, I'm going to use prosciutto. And chopped asparagus. Mmmm.

I'm also aware that this isn't technically carbonara, which is only made with eggs and cheese and bacon. No peas, no onions, yadda yadda. But this one is pretty damn delicious.

Pasta "Carbonara" with Peas and Bacon
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 8 pieces bacon (diced small)
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Plenty Of Black Pepper
  • 1 cup peas
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, with generously salted water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the bacon grease, but don't clean the pan.
3. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Set aside.
4. In a bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth.
5. When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Add the onions and garlic to the pasta.
6. While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time. The sauce will become thick and should coat the pasta. Splash in a little hot pasta water if needed for consistency.
7. Halfway through, add the peas and bacon. Finish adding the sauce, stirring until it's all combined.

Serve im-med-iate-ly with crusty bread.

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