This is quick dinner to make and loved by most children I know. This is a rich dish and needs nothing but a simple green salad on the side. The peas, either shelling or snap peas, are an inauthentic addition but a very good one. If you want to make this vegetarian, omit the bacon (or pancetta) and add 3 cloves finely grated or minced garlic or 2 stalks minced green garlic, to the egg/cheese mixture.
For ease, you cook the peas with the pasta, just adding them a few minutes before the pasta is al dente.
1 pint (or more) snow or snap peas, trimmed and each pea cut into thirds or 1 1/2 cups shelling peas
3/4 cup grated parmesan (or other hard cheese like Asiago Stella)
2-3 oz of pancetta or bacon, diced (optional–see headnote)
Seat salt and freshly ground black pepper (lots of pepper)
1 lb spaghetti (or other shape of pasta)
Fry the bacon/pancetta, if using, in a skillet until the bacon has rendered its fat.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add grated cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook pasta in generous amount of salted water, adding peas, 4 minutes before pasta is done. Scoop out and save ½ cup of cooking water and then drain when pasta and peas are al dente. Return pasta to the pan (off the heat), add bacon, egg mixture and a bit of the reserved cooking water and mix well. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg and create a lovely sauce. Add more cooking water if it seems at all dry; you want a silky sauce. Serve hot with extra cheese if you’d like. Carbonara is traditionally very peppery so don’t be shy with the black pepper.