Make this recipe with rotini, bows, or shells. Serve it as one course of many on a cold buffet. You can substitute 1 cup diced ham or 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon if you can't find prosciutto.
1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp oil or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 pound prosciutto, sliced into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1 pint cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
After you cook the pasta, drain it and rinse in cool water to cool the pasta. Place the pasta in a bowl and toss it with the oil and garlic. Add the peas and set aside. The peas will defrost when the hot sauce is added. If the peas are very icy, rinse in water first to melt the ice, then add them to the pasta. Add the prosciutto to the pasta.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and egg yolks. Stir with a fork or whisk to blend. Cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Add the Parmesan to the pasta and toss. Season with pepper and serve.
Add 1 cup sautéed mushrooms (that is, at least 2-1/2 cups mushrooms before you sauté them).
Add 1 cup steamed asparagus, cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces, a dash Tabasco or cayenne pepper, and 1 cup steamed or sautéed thinly sliced leeks.
Add 1/3 cup raw, minced red onion; 1/2 cup diced roasted pepper; 1 cup diced, cooked chicken; 1 cup cooked, chopped spinach; and a dash of nutmeg.
The more meat and vegetables you add, the heartier the dish. For a main-course dinner for four, try adding asparagus and chicken. For carbonara, use bacon and mushrooms.
Yield: Serves 8
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