Friday, September 23, 2016

Pasta Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe

by Missy Tippens

I previously shared a simple recipe for Cacio e Pepe (pasta with a cheesy pepper sauce). You can click here to find that.

The other day I was watching Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network and thought this similar recipe looked delicious. It's Carbonara Cacio e Pepe (click here to see original recipe). At the time, I saved it in my recipe box as well as on Pinterest. When it was time to prepare dinner a few days later, and all I could find to cook was some ham and pasta noodles, I thought of this recipe.

First, I checked to make sure I had some frozen peas and plenty of parmesan cheese. Yep. I was good to go!

I was excited to try these new noodles made from ancient grains. I really liked them!

The recipe calls for pancetta, but I only had ham. And I have to tell you how much I LOVE this ham. If you eat lunch meat, you definitely need to try this one--Oscar Mayer Carving Board ham. It's so tasty!

So here's my version with my ingredients:

1 box of pasta noodles--start the water boiling and cook about 2 minutes less than the recommended time. You want them al dente. **(SAVE THE PASTA WATER!)

2 TBS olive oil, heated in skillet
1/3 pound diced pancetta or ham or bacon
1-1/2 tsp coarsely grated peppercorns
2+ cups freshly grated Parmesan (not the powdered stuff)
2 cups frozen green peas--thawed
2 TBS butter

Add the ham to the oil and cook until a bit caramelized. Add the pepper corns and toast for a minute or so.

Add a half cup of the pasta water and scrape the pan (all that good caramelized goodness).

Add the cooked pasta and sprinkle with the cheese. Mix and add more pasta water as needed to make a nice creamy sauce. I probably used about 2-3 cups pasta water total. And I used about 2 to 2-1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese.

Toss in the thawed peas and butter and stir until heated through (adding pasta water as needed to keep the sauce loose and creamy).

I thought the pasta needed a little bit more flavor, so I sprinkled it with one of our favorite Penzey's spices-- Sunny Paris. It was very tasty! I hope you enjoy it!


  1. This looks so quick and easy! A perfect weeknight supper!

    I love those carving board lunch meats, too. They're great to dice up and add to a salad. :)

    1. Yes, and I love the ham as a snack with a cheese stick. And also in breakfast burritos with eggs or just cheese (heated and melted).

  2. Funny, I was just thinking about how much I want pasta now that the weather is cooler. I'm almost craving it. LOL And the peas are an interesting twist. Never paired them with pasta before.

    1. Kav, I admit I'm a pasta addict no matter what season. :) You could make it with peas and maybe add some other veggies (instead of the ham).