Another sure sign of late Spring/early Summer is the arrival of fresh green peas at the market stands. Many of you may be making a mint soup (hot or cold), pairing it with mint (or dill) or simply serving it as a side dish. All are fine but I think I have a fab new way to enjoy peas…in a pasta.
One of my fave “go to” dishes is a Carbonara with eggs doing the heavy lifting to make the creamy sauce. There are lots of fresh ground pepper – folklore saying the black speckles were reminiscent of the coal dust from coal miners in Italy. I’m not going to call this pasta dish a Carbonara but I’m borrowing elements of the classic to make a colourful, satiating and beautiful pasta dish.
Spaghetti with Peas & Pork is what I’m calling this dish. The peas hopefully are fresh but thawed from frozen are a good alternative and the pork arrives in the form of bacon. I prefer bacon to pancetta as it has that smoky element I just love. Again, use what you prefer or what you have on-hand.
Spaghetti With Peas & Pork
8 rashers of bacon, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onions, finely diced
4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup fresh peas (or thawed & risned from frozen)
4 whole eggs
1 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Kefalotyri (or Romano) cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
extra fresh ground pepper
extra grated cheese
500 gr. package of dry spaghetti
reserved pasta water
chopped fresh chive for garnish
- Place a large pot of water to boil, season well with salt when a boil and add the pasta as soon as your water returns to a boil. Cook according to package instructions.
- In the meantime, add the chopped bacon into a large skillet along with some water and render the fat over medium heat. Cook the bacon (stirring occasionally) until crisped-up. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Drain-off the excess bacon fat and add olive oil, onions and garlic over medium heat and sweat for five minutes. Meanwhile, crack your eggs in a bowl and add the fresh ground pepper, cream and grated cheese and whisk until well-blended. Reserve.
- After your onions and garlic have softened, add your wine and deglaze with a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has cooked-off. Turn off the heat.
- As soon as your pasta has cooked, reserve about a cup of the water and strain. Add the pasta into the skillet with the onion mixture and pour in the egg-cream mixture, the peas, chopped basil and a splash of the pasta water. Toss to incorporate the sauce until thick and creamy (toss quickly so that you don’t end up with scrambled egg). Add the reserved crispy bacon and toss again.
- Adjust seasoning with more cheese and/or fresh ground pepper. Divide and plate your pasta, garnish with chopped fresh chives. Serve with a chilled Domaine Porto Carras Malagouzia.
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