Springtime Rigatoni Carbonara with Scallions

This is my take on Chef Andrew Carmellini‘s Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara with Ramps recipe from his Urban Italian cookbook. I picked up this cookbook in Home Goods, actually, and what caught my eye was the word “urban.”

I have grown up being taught authentic, generation’s-old Italian recipes and I love them. They’re delicious, simple, homemade, gourmet. They remind me of my mother and my Nanni and my Nana. These recipes are a part of who I am, but they’re traditional.

So I thought that Chef Carmellini’s Urban Italian would introduce me to new recipes that have evolved for today’s modern cuisine. What I like about this cookbook is that he actually takes authentic, traditional recipes and gives it a modern twist.

Now the actual recipe asks for spaghetti, ramps, speck, english peas and sugar snap peas. However, being a broke post-graduate and living in the North Country of New York during the winter time, my fresh produce options are a bit limited. Instead, I used rigatoni, because I think it holds the sauce better, I used thick-cut bacon, green onions (or scallions) and a can of sweet peas.

This recipe serves 4-6 people and takes about 20 minutes if you time it perfectly. I wasn’t that lucky on the timing, so it took about 40 minutes instead (most of it was just waiting for two pots of water to boil – painful).

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. can of sweet peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. of rigatoni
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. roughly chopped thick-cut bacon
  • 1 lb. roughly chopped scallions (green onions)
  • 1 c. chicken stock (or water)
  • 1/2 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for finishing
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Bring two pots of salted water to a boil. Blanch the peas in the boiling water for about 2 minutes, then immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once they are cold, remove them and save for later.

Begin cooking the pasta in the other boiling pot, then beat the egg yolks and cream together in a bowl until well combined.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over hight heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring regularly, until the meat crisps up and releases its fat. You might want to drain some of the oil after the bacon is crispy.

Add the scallions and the chicken stock.

When the pasta is one minute from being done based on the boxed directions (usually 8 minutes), add it to the skillet. Add the peas and the cream mixture.

Cook together, mixing well so that the pasta becomes well coated with a well-combined sauce. If the sauce is too liquid, turn the heat up to high and allow the mixture to reduce a bit, stirring constantly until the sauce sticks to the pasta.

Remove the skilled form the heat and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, pepper and salt, adjusting seasoning to your taste. Mix well.

Serve in individual bowls and then sprinkle more cheese on top.

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