Pasta Carbonara with Peas

I have a thing for certain types of pasta, and by thing I mean the inability to stop eating certain types of pasta. For example, Chinese take-out lo mein. I have to order half orders of the stuff because if I get the big one I’ll eat the whole thing and feel terrible. I dunno what exactly it is about cheap take out noodles, but it has as much to do with texture as it does taste. I just dig it. The same goes for more Italian inspired pasta dishes that use angle hair pasta, although not traditional red sauce pastas. Wait, no, actually, I do get the same obsession with red pasta … when eaten cold the next day.

Shut up, I’m weird.

Anyways, another of my favorite angel hair pasta dishes that I have been craving lately is carbonara, one of the most simple and easy to throw together pasta dishes you can make. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner recipe or a indulgent brunch, carbonara has the best of all worlds: eggs, pasta, and of course, bacon.

The beauty of carbonara is that other than rendering the bacon and cooking the pasta there is no other cooking necessary. No long and complicated sauces, there aren’t many ingredients. Better still, all of the ingredients are kitchen staples which you should have on hand. I mean, you always have bacon on hand, right?

The only thing I should mention is that to make it really good you have to use the bacon fat. You can leave it out, if you want. I mean, I’ll understand if you want to be “healthy” by not consuming copious amounts of rendered bacon fat. But that doesn’t mean I’ll like you for it.


Pasta Carbonara with Peas

This recipe is for a generous dinner for two with leftovers.


1/2 pound thick cut bacon, cut into lardons
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan plus more for topping
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
1 cup frozen peas
Fresh ground black pepper

This is a very simple recipe: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook the angel hair for 3-4 minutes until au dente. About a minute before you drain the pasta, toss the frozen peas into the pot. Drain the pasta and peas, reserving a little of the pasta water. Allow pasta to cool slightly. While you are cooking the pasta, render the bacon until crispy over low heat (about fifteen minutes), then remove the solid bacon reserving the fat in the pan. Allow to cool slightly while you beat the eggs and parmesan together in a large bowl. Slowly beat the bacon fat into the egg mixture, drizzling a little at a time to temper the eggs so they don’t solidify. Add the pasta and peas to the sauce and carefully toss to coat. Top liberally with crispy bacon, fresh ground black pepper and additional parmesan if needed. Delicious!

1 Comment

  • Dad
    August 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Son, you’re a chip off the old block! This is pure SOUL food! Certainly one of my favorite dishes! Like your love of Chinese noodles, your mum and I rarely have leftovers of Carbonara! Ya gotta’ use the bacon grease!


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