The only thing better than spaghetti carbonara is risotto carbonara
Risotto is already one of my favorite comfort foods, but this carbonara version is the ultimate. Adapted from a recipe in The A.O.C. Cookbook, creamy rice is studded with chunks of tender bacon and pancetta and fresh peas. All the traditional components of spaghetti carbonara are present, including a few egg yolks that get stirred in at the last minute to add even more richness. The peas and pea tendrils keep the risotto from feeling too heavy and add a nice burst of freshness and sweetness next to the salty bacon. I made this for lunch over the weekend and we savored our bowls outside with a bottle of white wine before enjoying a glorious afternoon nap. It made us nostalgic for the long lunches we enjoyed during our honeymoon in Europe and is a feeling we hope to recreate over many sunny afternoons in our backyard this spring.
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Deconstructed Spaghetti Carbonara
- Fettuccine with Peas & Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Risotto Carbonara with Peas:
- Remove the peas from 1 lb. of fresh English pea pods.
- Bring 4 c. of low-sodium chicken stock to a simmer in a pot on the stove.
- In another heavy pot or dutch oven, add in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/3lb. of diced bacon or pancetta, or a mix of both.
- Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add in 1 diced yellow onion and cook for another 7-8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the bacon has browned.
- Add in 1 1/2 c. of aborio rice and stir to coat with the bacon fat. Let the rice toast for a couple minutes, then stir in 1/4 c. of white wine.
- Stir until wine has evaporated, then lower to medium-low heat. Immediately add in a ladleful of simmering stock and stir until mostly absorbed.
- Continue ladling stock and stirring until the rice is al dente and a creamy, starchy sauce is coating each grain.
- Stir in the shelled peas and cook for another few minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Immediately stir in 3 egg yolks, 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese, and salt and black pepper as needed.
- In another small skillet, melt a pat of butter and add in a bunch of pea tendrils* and a pinch of salt. Cook for a minute or two until wilted.
- To serve, spoon some of the risotto into a shallow bowl and top with some of the pea tendrils.
*Optional, but they are a great addition if you can find them.