Spring Carbonara

There’s no doubt, carbonara is a classic. I have a recipe for a classic, basic carbonara (made with spaghetti, the authentic choice,) but this recipe has a vibrant spin. To brighten this up for spring time, I decided to add some sweet peas, sliced asparagus and fresh sweet basil. YUM. I also only used egg yolks for this sauce to keep it silky, luscious and less risky. I know there’s a whole thing with carbonara freaking people out due to the raw whole eggs, so I thought this was the move. Also, with the egg shortage, at least you can still get an egg white omelet for breakfast even when you’re using all these egg yolks.

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Adjust Servings
1lb rigatoni (preferably short rigatoni "mezze"
4oz pancetta, diced if you can find guanciale, that's the traditional protein used here! Bacon works too
6-8 thick stalks of asparagus, thinly sliced on a bias (if using thin asparagus, use more stalks to taste)
3/4cup frozen spring peas
7 egg yolks from large eggs
1 1/2cup grated Parmesan, plus more to taste if needed
1bunch basil, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
black pepper, to taste



In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks, 1 cup of parmesan, and a generous amount of black pepper, and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2-3 tbsp of salt. Cook the rigatoni according to packet instructions, remove pasta 1-2 minutes before instructed, as the pasta will continue to cook when mixed with the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
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While the pasta is cooking, in a saute pan, cook the pancetta on medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and golden brown. Remove from the heat. Adjust the heat to medium and saute the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until cooked through but still has a bite to them.
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Add the peas to the pan and cook until bright green and thawed (if using frozen), about 1-2 minutes. Add the pancetta back in and the cooked pasta. Turn off the heat. Add the egg and parmesan mixture and quickly stir into the pasta to create a silky sauce. Add the finely chopped basil and mix well, slowly adding a few tablespoons of pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce (if needed) and create a creamy consistency throughout. Season with plenty of black pepper and serve onto plates with a sprinkle of the remaining parmesan cheese.
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