Spaghetti Carbonara

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make when I don’t know what to make and don’t really want to spend a lengthy amount of time in the kitchen.   Not to mention that it does well as a left over for next days lunch, my husband is a very big fan.

The combination originally was something that I was slightly apprehensive about, cream and bacon?  However after a few changes to the original I love this!  I know you will too!  The recipe originally was for a large amount of people.  However, being as I only need to feed two people and even have made this for a quick lunch for one it is easily altered to serve 1 or 6!  This recipe below makes 2-3 Servings.

Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 3 oz of Thin Spaghetti
  • 4 Slices of Bacon, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/2 c Heavy Cream or Half and Half
  • 1/2 c Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c Frozen Pea’s (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped (reserve a pinch for garnish on each plate)
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan, grated for garnish

Your sauce takes little to no time to make so make sure you start you’re pasta first.   Bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water up to boil.   When you’re water is at a slow simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat start to brown off your bacon.  Once it is brown and crispy, depending on the fat content you may want to drain a tbsp or two of the oil out.  At this point your water should be boiling, drop in your pasta.  Add the shallots and garlic to the bacon and saute till the shallots become translucent.   Take about 1.5 cups of the hot starchy pasta water and set aside, drain the pasta.   Add the cream to the bacon mixture, once mixed in and heated up add in the Parmesan, once melted add around 1/4 c of the starchy pasta water & parsley and bring to a light simmer.   If you chose to at this point add in the peas before you toss the pasta on top of sauce mix.   Toss the pasta with the sauce if it looks too thick like it’s not going to coat the pasta add about a tbsp of the pasta water at a time until you get the desired coating consistency on your pasta.    Serve and garnish with remaining cheese and parsley.

Adapted from: Martha Stewart – Great Food Fast

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Spinach Bacon Quiche

This is quickly be coming a favorite with us.  The crust is simple and quick, not as intimidating as I originally thought.  I mean, considering only 2 weeks ago I had never made a homemade pie crust.  I changed some things with the original recipe based on first attempt with the taste, texture and removed what I didn’t care for and added in what we do like, also what I had on hand.  Realizing I changed the recipe so much now that the only thing that is the same is the amount of bacon. This is honestly amazing tasting, the flavors are subtle yet right in your face.  The result was a nice light but rich quiche with a flaky crust that is irresistible.

Savory Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 8 tbsp Butter, unsalted cut into small pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp ice cold water

Put your oven on 400°.  Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add in the butter and using a food processor or hand dough blender which is what I use.  Cut the butter into the dry until all the larger pieces are broken down.  You should have what looks like a small crumb strudel topping.  At this point add 2 tbsp of water, and keep adding water 1 tbsp at a time until it comes together, keep working it with the hand cutter don’t use your hands, it should form a ball.   Once it’s together.  Get a cookie sheet size of plastic wrap on your counter top and drop the dough ball into one half of the plastic wrap, cover with the other half and as it’s covered shape into 5″ round, do this very quickly!  The more you handle it with your warm hands the less flaky your crust will become.  Quickly wrap completely in plastic wrap and put into a zip-lock bag and put in the fridge until firm 20-30 min, or you can place in the freezer for use later.   Lightly flour your work space and put the dough down and flour the top, roll about 2″ wider then the size of the pie plate you are going to be cooking in.   Once you have it worked into your pie pan take a fork and make little pricks around the base and sides of the crust to prevent big bubbles from forming while baking.  Cut a piece of parchment paper 2″ wider then the pie pan and layer on top of your raw dough fill the inside of the parchment with pie weights, or dry rice or beans, if you do not have the weights.  Bake for 10 min with the weights, remove from oven and bake 10-15 more minutes until the center of the crust is a pale golden brown.  If you’re edges start to turn brown quickly wrap the edges in foil to prevent further browning while the base of the crust cooks.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

Quiche Filling

  • 4 Strips thick sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 stems of fresh Thyme
  • 1 stem of Rosemary
  • 2 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 bundle fresh spinach, de-stemmed, washed, and chopped roughly
  • 1 c Gruyere, grated
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c half and half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Turn your oven to 350°  In a hot pan, saute the bacon until brown and lightly crisp.  Drain out all but 2 tbsp of the oil, toss in the garlic,  Herbs de Provence  and whole herb stems (this is so they can be removed later why leave them on the stem) and lightly cook then add the shallots and leeks, cook until pale in color.  Add in the white wine, and when it comes to a simmer toss the spinach on top loosely and place a lid on the pan.  Do not stir just put the lid on, and leave for 3 min.  While your pan is steaming the spinach, in a blender or large glass with a stick blender mix the eggs and half and half until light and foamy looking.   Toss your Gruyere and Parmesan with the flour and set aside.  After  the 3 minutes is up take the lid off and toss around lightly at this point remove the stems of thyme and rosemary.   In your pie crust, pour your saute mix into the bottom of the crust and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle the cheese mix over the spinach mix  in a thin light layer.  Pour your egg mixture over as a third layer and carefully place in the oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, depends on the depth of the dish, just bake until the center is soft yet firm to the touch.   Cool for 15-20 min slice and serve!

Source: Crust: Williams-Sonoma