The heat broke for a couple of days last week, so I decided to take the last of the peas, some of those wonderful eggs, fresh herbs, some leftovers and make pasta carbonara. Pasta carbonara is a relatively simple dish that can be endlessly varied upon, and this is the quite rich one I have been making this year. — Jason Adams
1 pound dried pasta. (I usually choose penne or small rigatoni as the sauce clings to it and it has enough structure to keep from becoming one big lump.)
1/4 to 1/3 pound bacon, pancetta or speck cut into ¼’ x 1″ batons
3/4 to1 cup peas
Three to four egg yolks
3/4 to 1 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup ricotta
1 cup grated Parmesan
Chopped chives and/or basil
Salt and pepper
Take the eggs and ricotta out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta, add salt and then add the pasta and cook about one minute less than al dente. Reserve one cup of the past water.
Meanwhile, cook the sauce.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large fry or sauté pan over medium high heat, add the meat and cook until the fat begins to render and lightly brown – you do not want it to get crisp but be somewhat chewy.
You are going to add the sauce to the pasta, so you want it hot but you do not want to have the sauce boiling away waiting for the past to cook. You can reheat the sauce just before you add it to the pasta if it cools down too quickly.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pasta pot and add the meat, pea and crème fraiche sauce.
Add the egg yolks and ricotta. Stir with a large spoon to combine. The heat of the pasta and the sauce will cook the egg yolks.
Add about half of the Parmesan and about one teaspoon of ground black pepper and stir again to combine.
Add some of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce as required.
Sprinkle on the chopped chives and/or basil and serve. The reserved Parmesan can be added to taste at the table.
This dish is quite rich and a goes will with a medium body white wine. I served this with a Friulano from Villa Angoris that I picked up from Botta di Vino.