Friday, May 07, 2021

Life & Style

A Recipe to Celebrate Glorious Weather

There was snow recently in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and parts of Connecticut, according to friends and family who live in those places, but not here. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t get any here in the next month of so, but you never know.

There has been rain, and lots of it, from the end of March to the beginning of April. Now it has been glorious. Oh, except for that night that dropped to 28 degrees. Typical Connecticut.

Regardless of the weather, to me it is spring.

I bought a large flat of pansies and a new garden trowel I’ll use to put them in my little plot of land in front of the porch. Birds are busy. At a friend’s home in Madison, a dozen red-winged blackbirds were looking for some swampy areas with tall grasses to nest. I have a very tall sort-of evergreen that is at least three stories tall. All kinds of tiny birds—sparrows, finches, wrens, and chickadees—consider this fluffy, slim tree a high-rise and are nesting together.

In a week or so I will put out hummingbird feeders, but if I don’t get them this year, my seventh year, I will consider they found a better place after their sabbatical.

Speaking of spring, I saw this recipe in springy recipe in Food Network magazine. I love carbonara, and I like the fact that Ina Garten has lightened it up a bit and added lots of vegetables, making it like a spaghetti primavera.

It is yummy.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Spring Green Spaghetti Carbonara

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe in Food Network magazine, April, 2021

Serves 6



Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces spaghetti

½ pounds snow peas, julienned lengthwise

1 cup shelled fresh peas (1 pound in the pod), or frozen peas

(what I always use now)

12 to 14 stalks of thin asparagus, bottom third discarded,

tips sliced in 2-inch pieces

2 tablespoon good olive oil

8 ounces small-diced pancetta

½ cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for servings

5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced diagonally

¼ cup minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Zest and juice of one lemon



Bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reserve a cup of the pasta water, then add snow peas, fresh peas, and asparagus to the spaghetti and cook for 2 minutes longer. Drain pasta and vegetables together.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium (10- to 11-inch) sauté pan over medium heat, add the pancetta, and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned, Transfer pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

While pancetta cooks, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water and set aside to heat the bowl. Just before you drain the pasta, pour water out of the bowl. Put the cream, eggs, egg yolks, and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta sauce water into the bowl and whisk to combine.

Immediately add the hot pasta and vegetables and toss with tongs for a full minute of two until the pasta absorbs the sauce. Add enough reserved pasta water to keep the sauce creamy. Add ¾ cups parmesan, the scallions, chives, lemon juice and zest, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss well. Add pancetta, sprinkle with salt*, and serve hot, topped with extra chives and parmesan.

*I tend to undersalt. That last sprinkle of salt might not be necessary. Taste and decide yourself.

Lee White is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Lee at .

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