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
pasta of your choice (I prefer linguine or farfalle
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.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!