Clearly Carbonara: Pasta with Cheese, Ham and Eggs

25 Jan

Some of the recipes in T’s book are slightly old-fashioned or not necessarily en vogue.  And some others are totally hip and way more common than they were 30 years ago when the book was published.  But they’re now known by their Italian name, rather than the 1980’s Americanized name that T might have used when she originally wrote this.

We’ve been cooking carbonara in my family for as long as I can remember, but it took me FOREVER to find it in T’s cookbook, because it’s listed under the extremely generic “Cheese, Ham and Eggs Pasta” recipe.  And while ham may have been appropriate for the American palate in 1982, we always used pancetta.  I encourage you to do the same.

2 or 3 slices ham, cut into strips or cubes (alternatively, 8oz. pancetta, cut into strips or cubes)
2T butter (only if using ham)
3 eggs
1C grated Parmesan cheese
Approximately 1/2 pint heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper (grind slightly more than you think you need)
1lb pasta (I use linguine, but T likes seashells)

Lightly saute ham in butter (if using pancetta, omit butter and drain off some of the grease).  Combine room temperature eggs with grated cheese and room temperature cream, reserving some cream.  Cook pasta in salted water, drain and place in a deep bowl.  Add egg mixture and the meat and toss quickly until egg and cheese have formed a sauce that sticks to the pasta.  Add freshly ground black pepper and toss again quickly.  If mixture is too thick, add more cream.  Serve at once with additional grated cheese.









NOTE: my mother always added cooked peas to the pasta with the black pepper.  I haaaaaate peas, so I don’t do that.  But if you want to add a vegetable, this is a great option.

This recipe is so good, I had my Pilates teacher over for dinner last night and she (and I) had two helpings each.  If she can splurge, so can you.  Mangia!

2 Responses to “Clearly Carbonara: Pasta with Cheese, Ham and Eggs”

  1. Gia January 26, 2012 at 5:05 AM #

    Try using diced zucchini (sauteed in evoo) instead of peas….you’ll be glad you did!

  2. cannoli lady January 26, 2012 at 6:34 AM #

    Yum! I love mine with some peas…go Grandma Rosie.
    PASTA WITH CHEESE, HAM AND EGGS I had no idea this was in the book!

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