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Pasta alla Carbonara with Summer Corn and Back Bacon

Not the prettiest dish I have ever made, but it is tasty.

Nothing says Summer like fresh corn on the cob. Where I live, Taber corn is thought to be the best corn around. There is a real excitement in the air when the first batch of Taber corn makes an appearance at the local farmers markets. We bought a half dozen ( plus one extra that was thrown in for good measure) at the market last weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed a couple ears apiece, with just a little butter and salt and pepper. 

 The next day, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I had a chunk of back bacon ( also known as Canadian bacon) that needed to be cooked, as well as a couple of ears of corn. Since I was in a pasta kind of mood, I decided to make  Pasta alla Carbonara.  Pasta alla Carbonara is a very simple pasta dish that has only a few key ingredients : bacon or pancetta, eggs, Parmesan or Romano cheese, and pasta. The raw eggs and the cheese are tossed into the hot pasta, stirred vigorously, and the eggs and cheese magically turn into a creamy sauce, without the addition of cream. This dish is really just a blank canvas - fresh peas, zucchini, mushrooms, caramelized onions, asparagus, chicken or shrimp would all be delicious in this as well.

While this  dish is really simple to make, it can also be really easy to mess up. Have all ingredients prepped and ready to go, before you start cooking the pasta. Bring the eggs up to room temperature, as they will be less likely to turn into scrambled eggs. Reserve a bit of the cooking water to add to the sauce if needed. Have extra cheese on hand for garnishing.

Pasta alla Carbonara with Summer Corn and Back Bacon
(makes about 3 servings)

4 oz. piece of back bacon, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ears of shucked fresh corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, room temperature
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano , plus extra for garnishing
1/2 pound of uncooked spaghetti or fettuccine
salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ears of corn for two minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, over medium heat, cook back bacon until crispy and golden. Cut the corn kernels off the cob( cut the bottom of the cob so that it is flat, holding the cob vertically, cut kernels off the cob). Add corn kernels, jalapeno and garlic to the pan. Saute for a couple of minutes. Whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drain pasta, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Off the heat, but in the same pot you cooked the pasta, toss together the hot pasta and the egg mixture, stirring vigorously.  Add  a little cooking liquid as needed.  Add the bacon and corn mixture. Season to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano.

Tags: Pasta, Corn, Bacon, Main

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