Thursday, April 9, 2009

Springtime Carbonara

Springtime Carbonara

Here we have yet another recipe with one of my favorite springtime ingredients...asparagus! It also has another great spring ingredient peas, but since my small farmers market seems to be lacking in fresh peas, I had to go with frozen. I hope to get to the bigger market soon so I can have a lovely afternoon sitting outside shelling peas. You think I'm joking? Last week and this week I am cooking with things in my fridge, freezer, and pantry in preparation for a cleansing week next week so I had to use some bacon I had in my freezer. I still have more bacon in the freezer, but I am hoping the fact that I actually have to wait for it to thaw out won't be too much of a temptation. I had never made a carbonara before this, but it was quite easy and I hope to do it again. I had wanted to use whole wheat spaghetti, but I only had a little bit left and not enough for the recipe, so I used the rest of some leftover linguine. I must say, the whole kitchen cleaning thing is going quite well and leaving lots of room for my cleansing stuff. Watch me last all of a day doing it. Anyway, this is a wonderful and flavorful pasta dish. The salty Parmesan and bacon where perfect with the sweet peas and the sauce was nice and creamy.

It's Thursday, but really my Friday. Do the rest of you have a short week? Do you have plans for Easter? My friends and I are doing a New Orleans/Southern themed brunch and I am super deluxe excited. I am sure I will be sharing recipes very soon!

Springtime Carbonara
(Adapted from the New York Times)

Makes 2-3 servings

2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
8 ounces linguine
2 ounces asparagus, sliced 1-inch thick (1/2 cup)
5 fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
1 egg, whisked, at room temperature
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish (2 ounces)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the bacon, cooking for about 5 minutes, until crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and set aside. Drain most of the fat from the pan. Return the pan with the rendered fat to the stove top for future use.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, heat the bacon fat in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the peas and asparagus, and sauté for about 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Have the egg mixture, vegetables and bacon ready to toss with very hot pasta.

Quickly drain the pasta and transfer immediately to a large serving bowl. Pour the eggs and cheese on top of the pasta, and toss vigorously to coat the strands and gently cook the eggs, forming a creamy sauce. Add the vegetables and bacon, and continue tossing to incorporate them. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Portion the spaghetti on plates and ladle any sauce left in the bowl over each serving. Grate additional cheese on top if you like.

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Pearl said...

holy crap that looks so good i'm moving in next door!

Thistlemoon said...

This looks delicious, carbonara is Roberto's favorite and so his mamma made it for us when we were in Italy - if it had had peas and asparagus in it, it really would have RULED! Have fun this weekend! We are headed to my mom's - gonna do some family time!

Erica said...

Looks awesome Esi! Our farmers market finally opens this Saturday and I am hoping to get out to it! The thought of fresh peas and asparagus has me super excited!

Andrea said...

This looks so good! And a much healthier version of carbonara than you sometimes see. You really are on an asparagus kick. Love it!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Love your dish. Have fun during Easter week-end.

Alicia Foodycat said...

This looks so fresh and delectable! We're staying home for Easter - I've got a few little domestic projects to get into.

unconfidential cook said...

Yum, yum, yum. Most people don't realize carbonara isn't gooey/over-rich/disgusting. This'll teach 'em. So going to make this!

Diana said...

I love the idea of carbonara, but it sort of scares me for salmonellic reasons. I think if I do get over that, I would want to make your version. I love your addition of fresh asparagus, peas and mint! I've been thinking about peas and mint a lot lately, actually! :)

vanillasugarblog said...

we don't have anything close to a farmer's market here. if we drove to boston there is a big one there, but that's an hour away. carbonara is one of my favorites and I always use lots of bacon.
are you starting that clean eating next week? it's not that bad actually...I thought it would be really restrictive, but it's not. I do miss my Doritos and the diet coke, but diet coke is so bad for me anywho. but I, like Erica will never give up my morning latte's

Christina Kim said...

Oh Esi this carbonara looks lovely!! I absolutely love carbonara, especially when it's done the right way, like yours. Yum yum yum!

The Duo Dishes said...

That looks so good. Bacon on pasta is good stuff.

Foodiewife said...

Carbonara is my hubby's favorite meal. I never thought to put pease and asparagus in here, silly me. I love this version. Your photo is so colorful and well done. Bravo!

Ninette said...

Wow, this looks so good! I never eat carbonara because it's so caloric, but I just might have to change my mind.

Kerstin said...

What a beautiful spring dish - I love the bacon in it!

Hayley said...

Looks delicious. Have a nice Easter brunch!

Becka Robinson said...

I love carbobara!!!!!!

test it comm said...

That carbonara looks nice and fresh and good!

Heather said...

i love carbonara sauce. it's so quick and easy, and so flavorful. love the asparagus in there!

Esi said...

Hey everyone, thanks for coming by!

Pearl, I will have dinner for you whenever you want :)

Jenn, dang! I knew I should have tagged along on your trip :)

Erica, so excited for you that your FM is opening back up!

Andrea, I am turning green with all the asparagus, but I can't help it.

Everyone, thank you as always!

Summer said...

this looks fantastic. I love carbonara.

Anonymous said...

Hi - This recipe "from the NYT" actually came from a cookbook written by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond, published by Ten Speed Press. They would probably be flattered by your passing it on. But, I'm sure the NYT gave them credit, and you should cite their authorship as well. Always important to properly cite your sources!
(From one recipe lover to another.)