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Crispy Bacon and Sausage Carbonara

From the April 2013 issue of GoodFood comes this quick and easy recipe for carbonara — a bit different from what one would find in an Italian restaurant, but nonetheless delicious. In fact, this recipe almost couldn’t BE easier or more delicious, fitting the bill for a mid-week meal with nothing more than a crisp green salad and perhaps a crusty loaf to serve alongside!

Crispy Bacon and Sausage Carbonara

12 oz. penne
4 Italian sausages (or about ½ lb. bulk Italian sausage meat)
8 slices pancetta or thin-cut bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large egg yolks
4 tbs. half and half
3 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (1¾ cup)
small bunch parsley, finely chopped (2-3 tbs.)

Cook the pasta following the directions on the package. Meanwhile, squeeze the meat out of the sausage casings and, with slightly damp or lightly oiled hands, roll into small–ish patties.

Heat a frying pan and cook the pancetta (or bacon) until really crispy. Remove and keep warm. Fry the sausage patties until golden and cooked through, remove and keep warm (a low oven is good for this). Cook the onion in the fat that’s left in the pan (tip out some if you need to) until soft.

In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks, half and half, most of the Parmesan, and most of the parsley with lots of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Drain the pasta, reserving a ladle of water. Tip the pasta back into the pan, off the heat, and add the egg mix, onions, and sausage patties. Mix well, adding some pasta water until you have a sauce that coats the pasta. Tip into bowls, scatter over the remaining parsley and Parmesan, and top with the pancetta.

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