Peas, pasta, primavera

I am committed to writing in this space once a week but today it is going to be short and sweet. I've got strawberry-rhubarb...cobbler? crisp? something to (make and) eat! And wine to drink!

As of late, whenever I sit down to write here I want to sing the praises of Spring. And why not? The sun sets after eight o'clock, turning the clouds a marvelous shade of pink; lilacs thicken the air with their fragrant perfume; trees shimmy and shake, showing off their new, shapely sets of leaves. It IS Spring, right? Well, when westerly head winds are buffeting my face and tossing my bike into traffic, it's hard to think so.

I need food to keep me going and this tasty, little number does the trick of warming up a chilly night while still hearkening Spring.

Pasta with Carbonara and Spring Peas
Adapted from Jamie's Dinners

A little bit lighter than regular ol' carbonara but certainly as good. Try to plan ahead so the bacon finishes cooking around the same time as the pasta. For this to work, the pasta needs to be hot enough that its residual heat just barely cooks the egg and creates a luscious sauce. Add the egg to the pasta off the heat to ensure it doesn't scramble.

Jamie uses farfalle while I made mine with fusilli. I recommend choosing a shape that will hold peas, bacon, and other delights in its crevices. 

1 lb pasta such as farfalle, fusilli, penne, or orecchiette (to name a few)
1 large egg, preferably from a good source
7 tbsp heavy cream
12 slices of pancetta or bacon, cut into rough slices
3 handfuls of frozen peas
2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves only, thinly sliced
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Whisk the egg and cream together in a large bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Start cooking the pancetta or bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat.

When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta. Once the bacon is crispy and golden, remove from the heat and set aside. About a minute and a half before the pasta is al dente, add the peas and finish cooking. Save some of the pasta cooking water, then drain in a colander. Add to the pancetta or bacon and stir in the sliced mint leaves.

Scrape into the bowl with the egg and cream and toss quickly. You are aiming for a smooth sauce that just coats the pasta. Thin with some reserved cooking water, if necessary. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6. 

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