Summer Carbonara

A bit of an aside before I get to the carbonara. I really love Sundays, I remember them from my childhood that we regularly shared them with my grandparents. On one side more formal and on the other more relaxed with all of us kids allowed to “help”. For years I’ve been working to recreate this for my own children, those memories to me are precious, and they have grown more so since my grandparents have passed. Every Sunday my husband’s parents and mine are invited; my parents live further away so they are not as frequently able to join us, but my husband’s parents are cloose and regularly join us for Sunday dinner. My MIL brings the salad for our dinner, every week it is wonderful.

This week was no exception:

 Onto the carbonara… After making the Double Chocolate Pavlova I was left with a number of extra egg yolks. While I was browsing around on Saturday evening I came across a corn carbonara, ooh that could work, but then I looked at the details…NO EGGS!? I searched a bit more and found one that I was searching for the corn. I decided I could work with it, the recipe is a combination of both and a hit. I can also comment that both recipes were “supposed” to be for 4 people, I served 6, two of whom are very active teenagers, and had plenty leftover for lunches, and it reheated perfectly.

For the protein, I racked my brain for what would go well and kept coming back to the same idea – crab cakes. Yes, I can make them, I have made them, but Holiday Market is so close and their meat and seafood counter is amazing. Their crab cakes are delicious and reasonably priced, and I was able to find this treat at the counter too: 

It adds a nice heat to the crab cakes and all of the ingredients are real! I work for a chemical company, which means I can pronounce pretty much everything in most ingredient lists so the “don’t buy it if you can’t pronounce it” rule doesn’t work, but I hold true to the intent and don’t buy anything that’s unnatural. The crab cakes are easy to cook, brown in olive oil over medium heat, don’t crowd the pan.

 Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles

makes 6-8 servings as part of a meal


  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound pancetta, ⅛” thick cut, finely diced
  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 Italian cherry chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • ½ cup pecorino-romano cheese
  • ¼ cup chives, ~⅓” pieces


1. Cut the kernals from the corn and set aside, then scrape excess corn milk from cobs into a bowl by firmly running the back of a chef’s knife down the sides.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown for about 3-5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the corn kernels and lightly brown their edges, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chile peppers, garlic and thyme and stir for 2 minutes. Return the pancetta to the pan and add half of the parsley and wine and simmer on low heat.

4. In a small bowl, beat eggs with the corn milk then whisk in the reserved pasta cooking water, stirring constantly until combined.

5. Put the pasta in a large bown and toss with the egg mixture, corn mixture, cheeses, and toss to combine well. Top with the chives and remaining parsley, then serve with additional cheese.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s