Spinach Carbonara

Recipe below is for two people for a main course or four people as a first course:

  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped*
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup half and half (or whipping cream if you want to be decadent)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2-3 tablespoons cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and warmed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound pasta shells
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Heat a large skillet, and then add the pancetta, garlic and onion, stirring frequently (be careful not to burn the garlic!).  Once the pancetta is cooked and the onions are soft and translucent, remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the 1/2 and 1/2 (or cream), parmesan cheese, egg yolks, and flat leaf parsley.  Go ahead and cook the pasta as directed by the instructions on the packaging.

Once the pasta is cooked, whisk the liquid mixture into the pan with the pancetta and onions.  Cook over medium low heat for about 4 minutes- don’t get the heat too high or the eggs will scramble.  Now, add the spinach, pasta, and lemon zest, tossing together.  Serve with bread and a salad and ENJOY!

*Or!  If you have a good butcher or other source, go with thin sliced guenciale- it’s fantastic.  Cook the guenciale and set aside.  Using the grease in the pan, proceed to cook the onions and garlic and complete the rest of the recipe.  Then, at the end, cover the top of the dish with the little strips of guenciale.

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