Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rustic Carbonara

In this recipe, I was aiming for a heartier version of spaghetti carbonara (in the hearty vs delicate scale). I used whole wheat pasta and thick-cut prosciutto instead of the more traditional guiancale, and I added lots of fresh peas for some color and texture (and vegetable content). I really liked the result: the sauce turned out creamy and the dish overall somehow didn't feel too heavy or rich. It's also really easy to pull together-- the whole thing took about 20 minutes.

Whenever I make carbonara, I think of Katie, who makes it a lot. I made this while listening to her mix made on Char and Ryan's awesome interface, Flotate. Check it out.

You'll need (serves 2):

1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 slab thick-cut (1/4-1/2 inch) prosciutto
1T fresh rosemary, minced
1c grated parmesan and/or parmesan-like cheeses, plus more for serving
1lb fresh English peas, shelled (about 3/4c peas)
lots of freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Start the pasta water; by the time the pasta's done, the sauce will be ready. 3 minutes before pasta is done, add peas to cook too.

Cut the prosciutto into small cubes and saute (dry, no oil) over medium-high heat in a cast iron or heavy skillet until toasty and aromatic.

While the prosciutto cooks, beat eggs with cheese, rosemary, and pepper in a large bowl.

When pasta is al dente, reserve 1c pasta water and drain noodles. Slowly beat in 1/4c pasta water until eggs turn creamy (use more if you need). Add proscuitto, pasta and peas, and toss to coat.

Serve, sprinkled with parsley, with more cheese on the side.


Jennifer said...

Now that's my kind of hearty, rustic pasta dish for sure!!! I'm adding this to the menu!! :) thanks!

Anonymous said...

once upon a time, a long time ago, carbonara used to be made by an older man in an east bay city, which shall go nameless. however, it was made with pancetta. it was very good. after it was consumed, many fine people had heartburn. your recipe seems quite harmless.

yours in cream,


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