The summer after my junior year of college, I studied abroad in London. While there, my friends and I were pretty wary of some of the traditional British fare (bangers and mash, anyone?), so we often sought out Italian restaurants when dinner-time approached. We knew we could count on a big plate of pasta to satisfy our American hunger. That was the summer I discovered my love for pasta carbonara. Bacon, eggs, cheese, and pasta? Yes, please.
I have made countless variations of pasta carbonara since my time in London. In fact, I made it for dinner last night, and I think it was my best batch ever. You should make it tonight.
What You Will Need:
16 oz pasta (I used rotini, but feel free to use linguine or whatever else may be in your cupboard)
1 pound sliced bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 oz mini bella mushrooms, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
5 large eggs
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
What to Do:
Cook the bacon like you normally would for breakfast on the weekend (or the weekdays if you're a super star), and set the cooked strips aside on paper towels. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Once the bacon is cool, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook until translucent (about 5-6 minutes). Add garlic and cook about another minute. Add mushrooms, about 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon grease, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until mushrooms are tender (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add frozen peas to the boiling pasta with about 2 minutes left of cooking time.
While the pasta is cooking beat the eggs and mix with parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper.
Add the cooked pasta and peas, along with the chopped bacon to the saute pan. Add egg and cheese mixture and mix quickly so the eggs don't scramble. Add a splash or two of the hot pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired thickness.
Say, "You're welcome," to your taste buds.