Spring Pea Carbonara

“I love peas, all types—sugar snaps, snow peas, English peas, black-eyed peas, cow peas, you name it,” says David C. Felton, executive chef of the Ninety Acres restaurant at the Natirar resort in Peapack-Gladstone. “I like to eat them raw, sautéed, in salads, pastas, pot pies, mashed, as soup—I could go on and on. I think you get the idea I love peas, and for this recipe wanted to highlight a simple way to cook them.”

Serves: 4-6 people

1 cup small diced pancetta, gaunciale, or homemade bacon
2 cups fresh shelled peas
1 quart heavy cream
3 egg yolks
2 cups grated pecorino
Splash of white wine
Black pepper (five turns of a mill)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 lb spaghetti, fettuccini, or bucatini, cooked al dente

1) In a large bowl, whisk the quart of cream with the three egg yolks till incorporated. You are not making whipped cream, just combining the two ingredients.

2) In a large sauté pan over medium heat, gently render the pork product until it has released half its fat and turned golden in color.

3) Add the peas and cook for one minute.

4) Deglaze with wine (if using) and add 1 pint of the cream mixture.

5) Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. It will start to thicken.

6) Add the cooked pasta to the pan, along with the cheese. Continue cooking till the sauce thickens and covers the pasta. You can add more of the cream mixture if it gets too thick too fast.

7) Season with salt and black pepper and serve hot.

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