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Papa's Pepper Pasta Carbonara


Papa's Pepper Pasta Carbonara
(Courtesy of Spencer from @spencerthecook from Instagram ... )
This is by far one of my favorite pasta dishes to create because it's like magic!  Adding that wonderfully starchy and salty pasta water and watching the creamy, ooey-gooey, delicious sauce form right before your eyes is like culinary magic!

1lb. Thick cut bacon
1lb. Spaghetti or Fettuccine noodles
1/2C Fresh grated parmesan, plus more serving if you like.
3/4C Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
4 Large egg yolks
1 Egg
12oz. Frozen peas
2t Papa's Pepper premium spice blend
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Chives for garnish
Neutral cooking spray such as canola oil

Reserve 4 pieces of bacon and cut the rest into a medium dice.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat and add diced bacon.  Cook bacon in skillet until it's brown and crispy.  Remove crispy pieces of bacon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve 1T of bacon grease. Roll each of the 4 remaining slices of bacon loosely and secure the loose end by placing a toothpick through the bacon roll.  Place each bacon "rose", toothpick side down, on a small sheet pan and into a 375° preheated oven for 20 minutes or until bacon is brown and crispy.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil.  No more than four quarts because we need that wonderfully starchy water to make the sauce.  While the water is coming to a boil whisk the egg, egg yolks, 1/2C parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, Papa's Pepper and reserved bacon grease in a medium mixing bowl.  Once the water comes to a boil add pasta and cook until just barely Al Denté.  While the pasta is cooking place a large mixing bowl in the sink and then place a colander in the mixing bowl to reserve the pasta water.  About one minute before the pasta is Al Denté dip one cup of pasta water from the pot and while whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour the 1C of pasta water into the egg mixture to tempur the egg mixture and keep them from scrambling when added to pasta.

This is where the magic happens.  Right before you pull the boiling pasta off, add frozen peas to the boiling water.  This will both slow the cooking of the pasta slightly, and cook the peas.  Pour pasta/peas into colander that's in the large mixing bowl.  Immediately remove colander from bowl and pour pasta into a second large mixing bowl.  Add egg/cheese mixture to pasta and toss gently to incorporate.  As you are tossing the pasta with the egg mixture, slowly add the hot, starchy pasta water, 1/2C at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Sauce should be thick and creamy. Add crispy bacon pieces and toss gently to incorporate.  Plate the pasta, garnish with remaining cheese, black pepper, chives and a bacon "rose" in the center.

Cooks Notes: Asiago cheese can be substituted for the Pecorino Romano.

Al Denté means to be cooked so as to still be firm when bitten.