This easy-to-make dish should be in every pasta-lovers recipe box. It’s simple to prepare, cheesy, delicious, and takes only one pot (hello minimal dishes!), and nourishes the body and the soul.
I have fond memories as a kid of coming in from cold winter days of snow sports with family friends and devouring a plate full of homemade carbonara over laughter and community. Those moments are the ones that create food rituals and positive food experiences that are invaluable to our health, no matter how much cream or cheese a dish has. And these are the recipes I always strive to provide — ones that nourish both the mind and the body — not one or the other.
Don’t let my childhood memory of wintertime keep you from making this dish year-round. In fact, with each season comes an opportunity to adjust and adapt this baseline dish to what’s in season. As spring continues to arrive, I love to top my carbonara with fresh sprouts or baby greens and am already looking forward to including freshly sliced garden peas when their season arrives!
- Feel free to use bacon in place of pancetta if need be!
- Half and half or whole milk would work in place of heavy cream, you may just need to add a little more parmesan to encourage more flavor and get the consistency just right.
- Vegetarian? No problem! Use shiitakes in place of pancetta, and vegetable broth in place of chicken. If you don’t eat eggs, try to thicken it up with a little more cheese!
- I haven’t personally tried a dairy-free version of this dish but I would guess a milk-alternative and nutritional yeast in place of parmesan would work quite well!
- Breadcrumbs anyone? Season with parmesan breadcrumbs for an even more dynamic texture, sure to please the masses.
- 1 tsp oil or butter
- 1 package pancetta, chopped
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cups frozen peas
- .5 cups heavy cream, plus more for thinning
- 2 egg yolks
- .5 cups cup parmesan, plus more for garnish
- fresh parsley and/or baby greens for garnish
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pot onto a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
- Pour chicken broth into the same pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, garlic and peas and cook uncovered until the pasta is al-dente and the broth is almost gone, about 9-10 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream, egg yolks, and parmesan. Add back the cooked pancetta. Feel free to thin it with a little extra heavy cream if the sauce thickens too much before serving.
- Garnish with parsley, baby greens, and/or parmesan and enjoy!