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Verses from my Kitchen: Farfalle Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage

September 11, 2011

Farfalle Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage

I've lost track of time lately. One week surely and slowly bleeds into another. My life has begun to mimic a carousel, with each day turning from light to dark in a blur and repeating. Again and again. Weekdays linger longer and weekends go out like a match. Quick and extinguished. Gone. The transformation has been subtle yet, after a deep breath, when I look up everything seems different.  

If it were not for the temperature shifts and flickering colour changes, I'd have forgotten we were in the midst of fall's glorious introduction. She's tempting us with what's to come. And, finally, I have time to soak it all up. Breathe. Enjoy it.

Between work pulling in every direction and weekends filled with weddings or families or shoots of one kind or another, there has yet to be a real chance to inhale. And exhale. Until this week. Finally. The frenetic pace has weakened and we can finally see the end in sight. It`s appropriate that we take time to relax. And enjoy.

The other day I walked through the door and called out to my wife. There was a noticeable chill in the air outside and the perfect temperature to walk our dog. I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt and off we went. We commented on the slight changes in the leaves on the trees behind us. We noticed the softness of the landscape around us. And we exhaled. As one.

When we got back in I asked what she`d like for dinner. For the first time in a while she said pasta. Although we do enjoy it from time to time in the summer, it`s in the fall and winter when we really take comfort in a bowl while sinking in to a chair at the table. So that`s what we did. We chose comfort. And food.

I quickly cooked up some of this pasta. It`s one of my favourite dishes to make. Slightly salty and rich, and perfect for a long drawn out meal at the table. I set the table and opened the window to let in a breeze. We sat there and talked of the great summer we had and the projects coming up. But mostly, we just enjoyed the breeze and the company.

It`s times like these that matter most. Not the hurried agendas or pace of life that causes you to miss a magical moment if you blink. So every once in a while, no matter what, we take time to remember that. And each other. And a meal like this helps.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating.

Farfalle Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage


  • 200 grams farfalle
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 slices of pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 eggs yolks, room temp.
  • 2 whole eggs, room temp.
  • 1 cup or 250ml heavy cream
  • 100 grams or 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 leek (white part only), finely sliced
  • small handful of fresh sage leaves, sliced
  1. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the farfalle according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the pancetta and smashed garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the pancetta is crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs yolks, eggs, cream and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a splash of oil in a large sauté pan and cook the leeks for about 3 minutes. When cooked, lower heat to medium-low and add in the cooked pancetta, farfalle and the egg mixture. Toss over the low heat until fully combined. 
  5. Add the fresh sage and the rest of the Parmesan cheese and toss again until well coated. Divide among two plates.


At September 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

That's some dang good looking pasta! So good I could stick my entire head in that bowl.

At September 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

I've always enjoyed the simple pleasure that can come out of a quick pasta dish. Love the flavors here, Mike. I bet some chopped up figs would be nice too.

At September 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

Pasta is always a winner. GREG

At September 11, 2011 at 7:01 PM , Blogger Rosemary said...

excellent pasta dish

At September 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your grater. Absolutely lovely pictures.

At September 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Blogger BecHeflin said...

Beautiful work, Mike! I'd like to lick the plate clean, please :)

At September 11, 2011 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm coming to your house for dinner. It sounds so relaxing

At September 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM , Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

This is beautiful Mike. Magical moments and thick, rich pasta with loved ones. This meal defines fall/winter comfort food. Glad you took a moment to slow down with your wife. I have been trying to do the same more & more lately. Time is moving way too quickly.

At September 12, 2011 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

Mike, beautiful pictures and story as always. I absolutely agree with your statement that these days and weeks are just one big blur. I too took the time yesterday to just sit down and relax with my wife, my baby boy, and our pup. It was nice to just catch a breath and enjoy time together without having to run around. We opted for chili, though your pasta looks fantastic :)

At September 12, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Lizzy said...

As always, magnificent photos...and a delicious recipe! It's been too long since I've made a carbonara...I will add it to my menu soon~

At September 12, 2011 at 9:10 AM , Anonymous Winnie said...

So lovely Mike.

At September 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM , Blogger Erin said...

This looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

At September 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

I know what you mean... and agree - it's so important to just take some time off even at the busiest of times. You've combined some beautiful flavours in this dish, it looks perfect!

At September 13, 2011 at 7:34 AM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

first off - carbonara is one of the best comfort foods on the planet and second, even though it's difficult to make time to connect, as you said, it's important! another beautiful post Mike!

At September 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM , Blogger Eliotseats said...

Carbonara is my easy, go to meal. I love Ruth Reichl's recipe and I always add peas to mine. Wonderful prose and beautiful pics!

At September 14, 2011 at 2:11 AM , Blogger Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Pasta always reminds me of comfort food and carbonara is def a winner...love your writing Mike. You capture the mood so well!

At September 15, 2011 at 11:52 PM , Anonymous Heidi / foodiecrush said...

Finding space in time and savoring it is one of my hardest tasks. Beautiful post and photos, inspiring me to follow your lead. BTW, Have you ever tried it with a raw egg added to the top of hot pasta?

At September 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM , Blogger kelly said...

This sounds delicious! I've got all the ingredients in my fridge so I'm going to make it this week :)

On savoring time: I've started biking as my main means of transportation. It's given me time for self-reflection, meditation/prayer and appreciation of my surroundings. I can ride by a park and still smell the dew on the grass or hear the sound of leaves crunching under my tires. I can coast through the world at whatever speed I choose and watch/hear/feel/smell the world change around me.

Happy Autumn!

At October 20, 2011 at 4:03 AM , Anonymous Food Safety Certification said...

This is another fantastic recipe! My mom really liked it! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.


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