Pancetta, peas and a cream sauce— what's not to like? If that's all I ate for a week, my thighs and arteries might have a list of things not to like but a once a month visit to creamy, salty pasta land won't completely derail my healthy plans for 2013. We have Sunday Funday around here (it helps to have one day a week with a little dietary reckless abandon) and pancetta is the life of the party, as far as I'm concerned. Since I've always had a fondness for peas, I settled on pasta carbonara as our Sunday Funday dinner. It lived up to the hype and was worth the wait— it was a Funday, indeed.
Pasta Carbonara With Pancetta (From The Pioneer Woman website)
12 ounces pasta, any variety
8 ounces pancetta, diced small
1/2 whole red onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole eggs
3/4 cups Parmesan, finely grated
3/4 cups heavy cream
Sea salt & plenty of black pepper
1/2 cup peas
Cook pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the pancetta until just barely crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the bacon grease, but don't clean the pan. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth.
When the pasta is done, reserve a cup or two of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl. While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time. The sauce will become thick and should coat the pasta. Splash in a little hot pasta water if needed for consistency.
Halfway through, add the peas, bacon, and sautéed onions and garlic. Finish adding the sauce, stirring until it's all combined.
Add lots of extra Parmesan and serve immediately.