Friday, March 28, 2008

Pasta Carbonara

So I'm sick and tired of this blog featuring so many baked goods! Don't get me wrong, baking can be fun and I'm glad I'm challenging myself with all this Daring Bakers stuff, but I need to start featuring the good old stuff I whip up for lunch and dinner. Usually, its not exciting enough to be worth the photographing and posting, but tonight I wanted something special for dinner.

I wasn't sure what to prepare but wanted to use some turkey bacon I had sitting in the fridge. Now, I never eat pork so I always sigh with disappointment when I see delicious recipes that feature bacon. I know, I know, I could buy turkey bacon more frequently, but I don't go shopping for meat that often, because I so rarely cook it, and only half the time does the halal meat store carry my favorite variety of turkey bacon. But this week, I've happened to have some that my mother bought for me because she knows how much it thrills me. And oh boy, have I been using it! I've been making bacon and eggs, cobb salads, baked risotto with bacon. It's freakin bacon galore over here! My vegan roommate is less than thrilled... I'm even considering making Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Tonight for dinner I knew I wanted pasta, and of course I wanted more turkey bacon, so I settled on something I've wanted to try for ages: Pasta Carbonara. I decided on a Giada de Laurentiis recipe because this one was particularly simple and I suppose I trust her with regards to Italian food (less intimidating than Mario Batali, who I love so much more). I didn't feel like being exact so I modified it to use the ingredients I had on hand. If you want the real recipe (not my modified version), use the link below. After giving it a whirl, I would like to say: I think I have a new favorite food. This was outrageously delicious! I'm sure I'm pretty late to the party because I've been seeing pasta carbonara's everywhere forever, but gosh, if I would have understood the magnitude of how incredible it was, I would have tried it much sooner. Next on the list of things to try is Rachael Ray's Carbonara Deep-Dish Pasta-Crusted Pan Pizza.

This is my first entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, this week hosted by Ramona from The Houndstooth Gourmet.

Pasta Carbonara
modified from Giada De Laurentiis
serves 1

1/4 lb turkey bacon, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp 1% milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella, plus some for garnish
1/4 lb dried pasta
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat a large saute pan, until hot. Add turkey bacon and saute until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and remove pan from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese.

Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse with water; you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick. While the pasta is still hot, return it back to the pot. Add the browned turkey bacon and mix well. Add the milk/egg mixture and coat the pasta completely. It's important to work quickly while the pasta is still warm so that the cream mixture will cook, but not curdle. Add remaining cheese and chopped parsley.


Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe with my friends and we all have to say its the bacon =)

Kalyn Denny said...

It does sound very tasty.

Mair said...

I found this post on a Google search for making pasta carbonara with turkey bacon, and your recipe was fantastic! Thank you. :) I felt even better using whole-wheat noodles and skim milk ... just this side of healthy.

Ali said...

Great recipe, I was looking for a halal version of spaghetti carbonara! One question though, I noticed you recipe calls for mozzarella cheese while Giada's uses parmesan. Any particular reason to go with the mozarella over the parm? Thanks.

Sara said...

Hi Ali! I probably just used mozarella because it's what I had on hand. That would make it more melty, while the Parm would have just the salty kick without the stretchiness. If I were making this again, I'd probably opt for the Parm, but both would be delicious!

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