Thursday, April 26, 2012
Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas and Spring Onions
My first thought was to all of those new little plants I had just gotten in the ground. What would driving rain do to those precious seedlings that I grew from seeds carefully preserved from last years tomatoes? Would they be crushed or washed away because their roots hadn't had time to take hold?
In the meantime, I'm happily enjoying all that the spring has to offer. This week my CSA box came to me full of English pea pods, which I happen to love, love, love. I decided to reprise an old standard of my Mom's- noodles with bacon, cream and peas. Only instead of cream I went with a carbonara sauce, my favorite way to eat spaghetti (simply made from eggs, cheese, and some pasta cooking water). I loved how the sweet peas and spring onions cut through the richness of the sauce and played off the salty bacon. Simple and just what I needed.
While the summer tomatoes are still a long way off, I'm pretty sure the peas, asparagus, onions, carrots and artichokes will be enough to carry me through the spring.
1/2 lb dry spaghetti
4 slices bacon or 3 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 heaping cup shelled peas (you can use frozen peas if you can't find fresh ones at the market)
1 large spring onion or leek, white and light green parts coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
3 eggs (the fresher, the better)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
In a large saute pan, cook the bacon or pancetta until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. To the hot pan, add the spring onions or leeks. Turn the heat to medium and slowly cook the onions until they are very soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). The leeks and pasta should take about the same amount of time to cook, so when you put the leeks in the pan add the spaghetti to the pot of water.
With about 2 minutes left for the pasta to cook, add the peas in with the spaghetti. Before draining, scoop out about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and reserve.
In a large bowl, beat the three eggs. Scrape the onions and any remaining bacon drippings from the pan into the eggs and stir in the bacon and pecorino cheese. Toss the cooked spaghetti, peas and half of the reserved cooking water into the bowl and quickly stir. The heat from the spaghetti will cook the eggs. If you'd like a looser sauce, add more of the pasta cooking water a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency. You can also toss all the ingredients in the saute pan to save yourself having to wash the bowl, but I've had a hard time with the pan being too hot and scrambling my eggs before I can get them mixed with the pasta.
Serve with additional grated cheese for topping.