Pasta Alla Carbonara
A classic and delicious pasta dish straight from Italy!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 medium-sized servings.
- 8 ounces dry pasta , (see note)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2" pieces, (3 thick-cut or 4 thinner-cut rashers)
- 1 large spring onion, diced, (or a smallish yellow onion)
- 1 stalk of green garlic, finely chopped, (or 1 clove of mature garlic)
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for topping the pasta
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 - 3 ounces pea greens, roughly chopped, (about 2 cups)
- 1 pound pea pods, shelled to make 1 cup peas
- a few tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Put on a pot of water for the pasta, and salt it heavily.
If your eggs have been refrigerated, place the whole, un-cracked eggs in a medium bowl and fill it with warm tap water to bring them to room temperature.
Warm the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly crisped, 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender and lightly golden, 10 minutes.
While the onion is cooking, put the pasta in the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent stickage, until al dente (if the pasta is overcooked, it will fall apart when you toss it with the sauce, so try not to do that).
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few solid turns of pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.
While the pasta cooks, add the pea greens to the onion mixture and saute until wilted and tender, a minute or two. Add the peas and cook for one minute, then remove from the heat.
When the pasta is done, drain it well and add it to the skillet (if your skillet is big enough, if not, put everything in the pasta pot instead). Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and veg, and toss it all together with tongs. Ideally, the egg cooks to a thick, creamy sauce from the heat of the pasta and veg; if the egg seems undercooked, place the skillet over medium-low heat and toss the mixture constantly until the egg thickens. Toss in the chopped parsley.
Serve the pasta immediately, with a good grating of parmesan.
Inspired by The Zuni Cafe Cookbook and Sunday Suppers at Lucques.
Spaghetti and bucatini are the classic pasta choices for this dish, but penne and orecchiette work well, too.
This makes some very saucy pasta; for a more spare, Italian-style dish, increase the pasta to 12 ounces, and reserve a splash of pasta water to add the the finished dish if it seems dry.
Pea greens are sometimes called 'pea shoots' or 'tendrils;' if you can't find them, omit them, or throw in some baby spinach leaves or arugula with the peas, if you like. I'm guessing you could omit the ricotta if you didn't have any. Enjoy with a crisp white wine.
Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.
Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 604mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1655IU | Vitamin C: 63.2mg | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 3.7mg