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Monday, May 9, 2016

Spring Pasta Carbonara

This is a variation on the recipe from the New York Times.  I made it without bacon because I wanted it to be super easy to make (not that cooking bacon is an insurmountable task, but it does add to prep time and not everyone wants to add meat to every meal, and this could be a good Meatless Monday option.  I also did not add peas because we have great asparagus available now, but they could be added or substituted for asparagus.  This pasta has a richness from the eggs (yes, five whole eggs--but a pound of pasta goes far with this dish) and you will not miss the bacon if you go this route.
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4-8 spears of asparagus, sliced diagonally 
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chiffoned
  • 5 eggs, whisked, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the bacon, cooking for about 5 minutes, until crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and set aside. Return the pan with the rendered fat to the stove top for future use.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. . Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for the amount of time recommended, or until al dente.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until cooked but still a bit crunchy. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and set aside.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Have the egg mixture, Parmesan, and asparagus ready to toss with very hot pasta.  Toss vigorously to cook the eggs without curdling them then serve.

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