With the start of spring, we love sitting around a long table inside our sun-porch amid everything budding outside. A fantastic dish for such an occasion is our bright and springy take on the traditional Roman Pasta Carbonara. To this classic Italian dish, we add peas and incorporate a Greek flare with Mizithra cheese (an aged, salty and sharp cheese, similar to Parmesan). The method of tossing all ingredients over a warm skillet instantly intensifies the flavor of the velvety spools of pasta. Visually, we love how the dish showcases characteristically spring hues: pale yellows, popping greens, and pretty pinks.
Springy Pasta Carbonara with Mizithra Cheese and Peas
1 lb linguine
1/4 c EVOO
1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
1/2 t red pepper flakes
3 minced cloves garlic
1/2 c dry white wine
1 c fresh or frozen peas
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 c grated Mizithra cheese (Parmesan can be used too)
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Add the linguine to a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes, reserving a ladleful of pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and peas and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in the wine and loosen all the pan drippings.
In a separate bowl, beat the yolks with the ladleful of reserved pasta water.
Add the al dente linguine to the skillet and toss with tongs. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss quickly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove the skillet from the heat and gradually add 1 cup of the Mizithra cheese, then salt and pepper and flat-leaf parsley. Mound the pasta onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with extra Mizithra cheese and flat-leaf parsley. Serves 4-6.
We absolutely love how the linguine transforms into a rich and silky dish without using any cream!