I like to cook and every once in a while, I pretend to be a crazy chef and try different things based on what I have in the house. Sometimes, it’s a hit. Sometimes, I get the “look”. The “look” means…”please don’t make THAT again.” Thankfully, those looks don’t come very often. This recipe is adapted because my son likes “saucy” pasta dishes. He just better not like other kinds of “saucy dishes” if you know what I mean! Anyway, he doesn’t like the traditional carbonara dish as much as I do so I improvised and bam…a star was born in my kitchen last night!
Don’t ask about calories. I choose not to pay attention to that when the main ingredients are cream, cheese and bacon. It does have olive oil and dairy, so it’s all good right?
Sorry, we were in a hurry so there are no fancy, smancy pictures like the food blogs. Maybe next time!
Sassy B’s Quick Creamy Pasta Carbonara
1 16 ounce package of pasta like Rotini, Penne, Mostaccoli
1 pint heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (do not use the powdered crap!)
8 pieces pre-cooked bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic (If I had my way it would be 4 Tbsp!)
2 eggs, in a medium bowl, beaten
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (no substitutes)
¼ to ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp coarse ground black pepper (more if desired)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add minced garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper cook for 1 minute. Add chopped bacon and heat through. Pour cream into bacon and garlic mixture, add chopped basil and heat through. While that is heating, the noodles should be nearly done. Take one large ladle of the boiling pasta water and quickly stir into the eggs. This will cook the eggs without “setting” them. Turn off the burner, drain the pasta and place back into pan. Add egg/water mixture to the noodles and stir well. Add 1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese, and the creamy bacon mixture and mix well. It will be a little wet but will thicken upon sitting. Spoon on serving plates and add more parmesan cheese as desired. Serve with fresh garlic bread.
Other things you could substitute or add:
- Use Pancetta instead of bacon. But you need to brown this in olive oil before adding the garlic and spices. (I LOVE PANCETTA!) The only reason I used bacon was because the store I went to didn’t have any BOO!
- Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes…NUM!
- Add steamed broccoli or other veggies.
- Use whole grain or whole wheat noodles. Rambo and I love them but MJ doesn’t. He will someday. I just know it.