California Central Coast Recipes
Carbonara Central Coast Style
In Carbonara Central-Coast Style, practically every ingredient comes from this county. It's a real "classical Central-Californian" dish. And this is not "just a chick dish!" It has the flavors that men will love too. (My husband raved about it the first time I made it for him!)
This recipe incorporates the flavors of fresh asparagus, fresh zucchini blossoms, fresh eggs, pancetta, walnuts, Cotja cheese, home-grown oregano and Italian parsley with a little splash of local Fume Blanc wine served on imported Lanterne pasta. What a beautiful dish this makes with its bright yellow and green colors. It's VERY mellow and VERY satisfying!
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
1 bunch thin-stalked asparagus (A little over a pound) , coarse ends removed, washed and cut into inch length pieces
3 baskets (about 18) Zucchini Blossoms thoroughly washed and stems removed.
2 large Eggs
1 Tablespoons Whipping cream
1 cup Cotija Cheese , grated
2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
4 ounces Pancetta , diced
1/2 large White Onion , diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup loosely packed Oregano , coarsely chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed Italian Parsley , coarsely chopped
1/2 pound Lanterne pasta or other pasta
Salt to taste
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1 In a large stockpot filled with boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus pieces for two minutes or until lightly cooked but still with a little crunch when bitten. Run under cold water to stop the cooking, drain and set aside.
2 Gently wash and carefully blot the damp zucchini blossoms dry. Cut the blossoms lengthwise into quarters. Set aside until later.
3 In a large serving bowl, beat the eggs with the whipping cream. Add the cheese and a little salt. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
4 In a large pan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to sizzle.
5 Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly golden.
6 Deglaze the onion mixture with the wine and reduce down a bit.
7 Add the asparagus and saute for a couple minutes, stirring gently and scraping up the bits of the pancetta-onion mixture from the bottom of the pan.
8 Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9 In the meantime, put a large stockpot of hot water on the stove and bring to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, stir and then add the pasta. Stir the water again and bring to a boil and cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, to al dente or as directed on the package.
10 Just before the pasta is ready, increase the heat a little to the pancetta-onion and asparagus pan. When warm, carefully add in the zucchini blossoms and toss gently to distribute throughout the mixture.
11 Add the drained hot pasta to the asparagus mixture.Toss carefully. Add in the egg mixture and carefully toss thoroughly to redistribute evenly.
12 Add in the oregano and Italian parsley. Mix well and correct the salt and pepper and stir again.
13 Serve on dinner plates.
This a very wine neutral recipe, you can go either with a low tannin red or non-oaked white. For a red selection, try a Valdiguié. For a white, try a Pinot Grigio.