The Boyertown Area Times

Pasta carbonara is the Roman’s answer to comfort food

Pasta Carbonara With Sweet Peas

- By Lynda Balslev Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer based in northern California. Visit TasteFood at TasteFoodb­

Pasta carbonara is the Roman’s answer to comfort food. It’s composed of a humble trio of ingredient­s — eggs, cheese and noodles — which, with the elemental magic of heat and water, alchemize to create a glistening bowl of pasta that’s as restorativ­e as it is comforting.

Crispy pancetta is a traditiona­l ingredient in a carbonara, and its rendered fat adds salt and flavor to the dish. While less traditiona­l, sweet peas add brightness and balance the pork in this recipe.

This carbonara comes together quickly, so it’s important that your ingredient­s are prepped before you begin cooking. The most important element is the egg and cheese mixture, which coats the hot noodles and creates the slick sauce that binds the dish.

Add the whisked eggs and cheese to the hot noodles away from direct heat, stirring constantly to thoroughly coat the noodles. The heat from the pasta will help to cook the eggs, and the stirring will prevent them from scrambling. It may sound complicate­d, but once you give it a go, you will see how easy and foolproof this method is.

Try to use bucatini for the pasta, which resembles thick spaghetti with a hole running through the center, which allows the sauce to permeate the pasta and give it more flavor.

Active time: 25 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Yield: Serves 4


3 large eggs, room temperatur­e 1 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 pound bucatini

6 ounces thick-cut bacon or guanciale, diced

1 cup thawed frozen sweet peas

1to 2cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a press

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste


Whisk the eggs and cheese in a bowl to combine; set aside. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat is rendered, stirring to separate the pieces, 5to 7minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the peas, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and cook briefly, stirring to coat the noodles. Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly add the eggs and cheese, stirring constantly to coat the pasta and to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to loosen the pasta to your desired consistenc­y. Return the bacon to the pan and stir once more. Serve immediatel­y with extra cheese for sprinkling.

 ?? COURTESY OF LYNDA BALSLEV ?? Pasta Carbonara With Sweet Peas
COURTESY OF LYNDA BALSLEV Pasta Carbonara With Sweet Peas

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