Tuesday, July 3, 2012

easy pasta carbonara

My family loves to eat pasta.  And I love to cook pasta because there are a million ways to frame it and never get bored.  Pasta is one of those easy, I-don't-feel-like-breaking-my-back-tonight meals.  Don't you think?  If I haven't gone to the market lately and I'm scurrying for something to cook for dinner, pasta is always my go-to.  It's fast and always tasty.

Last night I made pasta Carbonara with sauteed zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and sliced chicken sausages.  It was delicious folks!  Sometimes I get tired of red sauce based pasta dishes (read: I get tired of making red sauce from scratch sometimes) and this creamy Carbonara is a great alternative.  I usually make it with bacon and then sprinkle diced tomatoes and parsley on top but really, you can pair it with anything.

The recipe
Fill your pot with water for boiling your pasta.  Carbonara lends itself well to spaghetti, Fettuccine, angle hair, or other long strand pasta.  I like to use the Barilla multi-grain angle hair (because we brought it in our consumables shipment).

Carbonara sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipping cream, or whole milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
dash of pepper, nutmeg and salt

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.  Cook your pasta al dente and drain the water-leaving about a 1/8 cup of water at the bottom with the pasta.  Quickly, whisk in the Carbonara mixture and continue stirring with the noodles until creamy.  The hot noodles and pasta water cook the eggs but if you want to be cautious, do this step with the pot of noodles on the warm burner that you just used to boil your water.  Add more pepper and Parmesan to taste.

It's best served right away because the creamy texture of the carbonara sauce congeals and clings to the noodles as it cools.  It tastes delicious either way.  If you are like me and never get a truly hot meal because you feed the kids and the baby first and wash all the hands and pick up the dropped food or spilled milk and maybe wipe a few bums for potty breaks before you ever get to sit and eat your portion of dinner; you will get to eat your carbonara more congealed and less creamy like me!  Welcome to the club.

If you pair it with bacon, sprinkle the bacon in the dish with the carbonara sauce.  If you want to serve it with something else like I did, serve it on the side.

For the veggie chicken sausage topping I sauteed 5 chopped cloves of fresh garlic with cooked and sliced chicken sausage and a tbsp of olive oil.  I then added the zucchini and sauteed until al dente.  At the very end I added a cup of diced tomatoes and a bit of salt and pepper and just let it simmer a bit.  I forced Addie to eat a few bites of  this because she'd prefer all noodles.  Bella on the other hand ate a plate full of zucchini and no noodles.  Go figure.

Pasta for all!


Emily said...

I am going to make this in the next few days...thanks for sharing your recipe.

Sara said...

You are welcome! Enjoy the pasta. It's such a great change from the usual red sauce. Plus I always have eggs, milk and parmesan in the fridge! Let me know how it goes!