Simple Weeknight Meals: Spaghetti Carbonara


It's been a whirlwind of a few weeks getting settled in our new life in San Francisco. We have the apartment (mostly) all set up, and it's really starting to feel like Pacific Heights is home. We've tested lots of the local restaurants in the surrounding area, but finally made time to take a trip to TJs to stock the fridge with the essentials. You know - mustard, pickles, hot sauce - all the good stuff.

In the latest and greatest installment of your 'Simple Weeknight Meals', I'm featuring some of the peas we picked up to stock the freezer with.

As I sit in traffic on the Google shuttle (I'll tell ya'll about Google another time), I'm bringing you Spaghetti Carbonara. Sounds a little involved right? It's not. It's the simplest pasta dish that kids and adults will love. The hardest part of the recipe is probably separating the yolks from the egg whites.

Spaghetti Carbonara
makes 4 servings

1 lb thin spaghetti noodles (1 box)
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
1/2 lb bacon + 2 tbsp reserved bacon fat
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
salt and pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Get everything prepped ahead of time because once the pasta is done cooking, this dish takes 2 minutes to complete.

In a large bowl, whisk together 4 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Set aside.

Cut bacon up into 1/2 inch pieces and fry up in a saute pan for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. You want the bacon to be fully cooked, but not too crispy. Remove from fat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan!

Now cook the pasta in super salty water. When ready to drain, reserve 1/2 cup of the salty pasta water.

Work quickly here. Here's what you want to happen. Slowly drop the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water into the bowl with the eggs to temper the eggs (so they don't scramble). Drain the pasta, and immediately toss into the bowl with the eggs. Toss the noodles around the egg mixture until it turns into a creamy sauce. The hot noodles are cooking the eggs.

Add the peas. Add the bacon pieces and 2 tbsp bacon fat to the bowl, and mix to combine. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Voila! Takes about 15 minutes, and you likely have all the ingredients in your fridge!

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