Dinner Tonight: Orzo Carbonara-Style


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

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First off, this recipe from Epicurious is actually called "orzo carbonara," but I slipped in the "style" because this version is missing one absolutely essential ingredient (egg) and includes one that most experts agree shouldn't be there (cream).

Not to get all semantic, but I care deeply about the classic pasta dish, and don't like seeing its meaning thrown about without care. So, I'm calling it carbonara-style. Second, regardless of its title, this is an absolutely wonderful dish.

I was extremely leery when my wife suggested this recipe, but was eventually won over during the cooking process. Instead of mixing cooked pasta with the sauce at the very end, the orzo is cooked in the same pan as the bacon, making this an easy one pot meal. The combination of bacon fat, cream, and butter ensures that everything is flavorful, while thyme adds an herby note. My only alternation was a handful of frozen peas, which lent a touch of sweetness to each bite.

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Orzo Carbonara-Style ยป