Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pasta Carbonara

I recently attempted a new recipe, Pasta Carbonara. My dear hubby adored it...I definitely appreciated the calories! Anything that combines butter, bacon, and linguine sounds good to me!

Ingredients:
Linguine noodles
1 softened package of cream cheese
1 shallot
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 stick of butter
6 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 package mushrooms (I like crimini mushrooms)
3 to 5 cloves of garlic (depending on your personal preference...obviously, I like garlic!)

Begin by readying a pot of water to boil the pasta in. Be SURE you salt the water before tossing the pasta in. Bland pasta is not pleasing to the palette! In a frying pan, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Drain and save for later. Then, turn the heat down down and place 1/2 of the stick of butter into the bacon grease. While the butter reduces down, chop up the shallot and garlic. Toss into the pan along with the mushrooms and red pepper flakes. Crank the heat up to medium and allow the onions to soften...translucent onions are the goal! Add in the other half of the butter now. While you're waiting, chunk up your softened cream cheese into small blocks. Once the onions are translucent, carefully place the chunked cream cheese into the hot pan. Continue stirring, mashing, and squishing the cream cheese cubes until the matter in the pan looks fairly consistent. Add in the heavy cream and bacon along with the Parmesan cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer while the noodles are strained over the sink. Dump the noodles in your sauce pan and coat with the sauce. There shouldn't be a lot of "sauce" left over. Enjoy!

I like to pair this recipe with a nice garlic bread and a salad with a tangy dressing. Try to stay away from heavier dressings like Ranch or Caesar...the pasta is so rich, it's nice to have something acidic to "cut" through the fat.

A product that I really appreciate when sautéing shallots, garlic, and mushrooms is Pampered Chef's Sauté Tongs. They are lightweight, easy to clean, and don't take up a lot of space in my gadget drawer.

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