Friday, August 1, 2008

Easy Pasta Two Ways, Carbonara and Primavera

I have been craving pasta for weeks. Tonight I'm finally getting to make my absolute favorite recipe, proper Carbonara. What do I mean by proper? Well when I was in Genoa, I learned that true carbonara doesn't have to have loads of cream in it. You can make a wonderful light version with just a few ingredients.

100 g Pancetta (you can buy this cubed from Armstrong's) or 5 slices of streaky bacon
1/2 an onion chopped small
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
1 bag of any flat pasta (linguine or papperdelle work the best)
Parmesan cheese to top

Put the pasta on to boil. Fry the pancetta and onion in the oil until the pancetta starts to get a bit crispy. Turn the heat off on the pancetta if the pasta hasn't cooked yet. Whisk the eggs in a cup and set aside. Drain the pasta in a colander when it has finished cooking. Do not rinse it. Pour the pancetta and onion mixture into the pot that the pasta cooked in. Then pour the hot pasta and eggs into the same pot. Stir. Put the lid on the pot for 2 minutes. The egg will have cooked from the heat of the pot and the heat of the hot pasta.

Pasta Primavera
This is the same premise as the carbonara just vegetarian.
1/2 onion chopped
1 portabello mushroom chopped
1/4 cup of peas
1/4 of a red pepper chopped
3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 eggs
1 bag of flat noodles or 3 bunches of soba noodles (which will add extra protein to the meal)

Put the pasta on to boil, set a timer for 1 minute less than the cooking time on the package. Fry the onion and mushroom in olive oil for about 5 minutes, add peppers and salt. Cook until tender. When the timer goes off add the peas to the water and cook for 1 minute. Drain the noodles using a colander (if using soba rinse in really hot water) Pour the vegetable mixture into the pot, pour the noodles with peas and eggs on top of the vegetable mixture and stir. Cover the pot and let sit for 2 minutes. If you find that the egg has not cooked to your liking, briefly turn the heat on and stir until the egg looks less runny. Top with cheese and extra olive oil if needed.

Note: You can use just about any vegetable but broccoli or cauliflower in this recipe. The reason for this is that the egg gets caught in the florets of the two vegetables and doesn't cook fully.

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