Pasta Carbonara is Comfort Food.

Cooked up on August 30, 2011

Filed under: dinner, garden, summer

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As I’m writing this post, it’s 6:30 and almost dinnertime. Which makes thinking about last week’s pasta carbonara only make me want to make it again.

Pasta Carbonara to me always sounded like it’s going to be some kind of fire-roasted spicy thing (carbon, right?). It actually just means the sauce is made of eggs and cheese. Whoops.

It can be made with any combination of veggies that work well together but the best thing to have with it is not a veggie:

Bacon – good bacon. It will last for a shorter amount of time if you buy it from the meat counter at the grocery store instead of the sandwich meats, but it’s usually twice as thick, better-tasting and you can buy it in small amounts. And really, it’s not that much more expensive.

This pasta can be a great date night meal, but it’s easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, too.

Here’s what you need for two servings:

  • Good bacon (1.5-2 strips per person)
  • 1 cup or so of chopped zucchini
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup or so of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup of chopped parsley (measure after you chop!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan (honestly… the stuff from the can is OK)
  • 4 oz. of whole wheat dry pasta (long pasta works best, I find)

Start by cooking your bacon in a good-sized skillet, and chop up your veggies while it’s cooking. You should also start your pasta – the whole process is going to take about 20 minutes!

When the bacon is just slightly south of your ideal doneness, remove it to a bowl or plate lined with a paper towel and leave the grease in the pan. Then start cooking your veggies in said bacon grease, starting with the most dense (onions, garlic) and moving on to the zucchini or whatever else you may choose to add. Save the tomatoes for later.

When the veggies are almost done, add the bacon back in.

Drain your pasta and add it to the skillet, too. It’s also a good time to add the tomatoes. You don’t want them to break down, just to gently heat up and be perfect right before you serve the pasta.

Crack your two eggs into a liquid measurement cup and then add the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste (read: lots of pepper!).

Now is a good time to prepare your parsley, too. Try to remove as many stems as possible – while edible, they are pokey little guys! Remember that your volume of chopped parsley is going to be about 1/4 of what it was before you chopped it.

Once everything else is prepped, take the skillet off the heat and add the sauce. Stir quickly – you don’t want to cook the eggs to the point that they are scrambled 🙂 Just runny.

When you mix well, it should look like this (a.k.a. delicious).

Whoever discovered that you can make a sauce with just egg and cheese… my hat is off to you.

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