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Author Notes: I made my very first pasta carbonara a year or so ago, and was entranced by how easily (magically?) eggs and parmesan make a luscious sauce. I've adapted it by adding all sorts of different things, but one of my favorites is with a selection of springtime vegetables. Fresh tarragon is my herb of choice with most any spring vegetable, so I use it and lemon to brighten up this dish, and a scattering of sliced radishes adds a great texture element. (I'm on the road, stealing a moment or two from a conference, so no photos, but you get the idea....) —Kayb
- 1/2 pound pasta of your choice (I prefer linguine or farfalle
- 4 strips bacon
- 4 ounces Parmagiano, grated, divided
- 1/2 pound asparagus
- 1/2 pound zucchini or yellow squash (or both!)
- 1/2 pound carrots
- 1 cup shelled peas
- 1/2 pound snow peas
- 4 medium radishes, sliced
- 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Dice bacon into 1-inch pieces and brown until crisp; remove from pan and drain all but about 3 tbsp bacon fat.
- Dice carrots and saute in bacon fat until beginning to soften; remove and set aside in same bowl
- Saute snow peas in bacon fat until crisp-tender; remove and set aside, still in same bowl. Decide either here or next step whether you need a bigger bowl.
- Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch or so dice and saute briefly in bacon fat; remove and set aside. Add to the veggie bowl, cover and keep warm.
- Trim asparagus, and peel stems if necessary. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Plunge asparagus and shelled peas into briskly boiling water, leave for one minute only, and drain; put immediately under cold running water or into ice water to stop cooking. Set aside.
- Beat eggs with about 1/2 cup grated parmagiano.
- Drain pasta, reserving a cup or so of pasta water. Return to pot and toss with egg/cheese mixture until pasta is coated. Add reserved bacon, sauteed and boiled veggies, and toss.
- Zest a little of the lemon over the pot, cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pot. Add tarragon and toss again. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Divide into serving bowls and top with remaining parmagiano and sliced radishes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe