Monday, July 02, 2012
Pasta Carbonara with Corn
One of my good friends, and senior year of college roommate, L, came to visit last week. She's a California girl and was back home visiting her family. I'm so glad we were able to get together while she was in town and even more excited that I got to cook for her. We met our junior year when we both studied abroad in England, so it seemed fitting that I had Pasta Carbonara with Corn on the menu the night she ate with us. As I mentioned waaaaay back in August 2006 when I first started this blog, I discovered carbonara in England (of all places) my junior year abroad with my very dear friend, S. We ate it everywhere we could find it. Making carbonara with L, even this variation with the corn, brought back memories of our time together in England. Man, we had a blast. Hard to believe it's been 11 years already.
Anyway, this luscious carbonara was inspired by this Rachael Ray recipe for Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles. I had great success adding asparagus to my carbonara, so corn seemed like a great idea. I ended up combining my usual method for making carbonara with the flavor profile from Rachael's recipe, omitting the chiles because I didn't want it to be spicy.
This was a real winner that would be even more amazing with fresh Jersey corn straight off the cob. You all know my carbonara obsession is legendary but the addition of the corn was wonderful. I love crunching those kernels under my teeth. This is a great summer version of carbonara, made lighter by the corn and the fresh herbs. Everyone cleaned their plates, including Baby Girl.
Pasta Carbonara with Corn
Inspired by Nigella Lawson and Everyday with Rachael Ray
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
2 cups corn
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup vermouth
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
In another large pan that will fit the pasta later, cook the bacon until crispy but not crunchy. Add the onions and cook until softened and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the corn and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and parsley, then pour in the vermouth and let it bubble so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of salty winey syrup left. Take the pan off the heat.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs, Parmesan, cream, pepper and nutmeg. When the pasta is done, remove approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Add the drained pasta to the bacon and corn mixture, tossing well to coat with the syrupy sauce. Add the eggs and cheese mixture, swiftly tossing everything to mix. Thin with pasta water, if needed. Grind over some more pepper to serve.