Spring Time Pepper Bacon Carbonara
The return of spring brings the Saturday farmer's market back to the riverfront and with it a bounty of fruits, veggies, and sustainably farmed meats. I thought this summer it would be fun to do a series of farmer's market recipes, seeing what I could devise from the seasonal selection. On my first trip to this year's Saturday market, I happened upon the most amazing thick-cut pepper bacon and a beautiful selection of sweet onions. With a refrigerator full of Angie's free-range fresh eggs and penne pasta in the pantry, a simple carbonara recipe seemed perfect. Enjoy!
- 6 slices thick cut pepper bacon, diced
- 2 medium sweet onions with green stems, white and light green parts diced
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large handful Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 lb. dried penne pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Chop and prepare other ingredients while waiting for the water to boil. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk together with grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside. When the water comes to a boil, add penne and cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain cooked pasta, reserving about a cup of pasta cooking water.
Place chopped bacon into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until bacon begins to brown, 6-8 minutes. Before bacon become too crisp, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat reserved in the skillet. Return skillet to heat and add chopped onions. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until onions begin to soften. Using about 1/4 c. of reserved pasta water de-glaze the pan, scrapping browned bits from pan. Set aside.
Slowly add about 1/2 c. of warmed pasta water to the beaten eggs, whisking together to incorporate and bring the temperature of the eggs up so that they won't curdle. Add cooked pasta to pan of onions and pour egg mixture over pasta. Return skillet to medium-low heat, stirring and cooking until egg mixture begins to cook. Add cooked bacon and chopped parsley to mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.