Friday, November 27, 2009

spaghetti carbonara

I came home at 5:30 and needed to have dinner for three people ready to eat in 45 minutes or less. I looked in my fridge and the first thing I saw was mushrooms. I knew I had a box of Smart Pasta (super refined and fortified but also very nutritious and made to taste like white pasta) in the pantry so I ran upstairs, googled "pasta with mushroom sauce recipes". I looked up the most common ingredients found in sauces, eliminated the cream and ran down to the kitchen to throw something together based on what I could scrounge for in the fridge.
Always get your pasta water boiling first. Salt it well and if it's ready before the rest of your prep, it can bubble away while you get caught up.
In addition to the mushrooms I found, I also grabbed green onion, Parmesan cheese, two eggs, and 6 slices of turkey bacon. Tra la! My little nod to American Thanksgiving. I fried the bacon, flipping frequently. While it cooked I peeled and sliced the mushrooms, chopped the green onion, grated about a 1/2 cup of cheese, and crushed 3 large cloves of garlic.
Once the turkey was crisp, I transferred it to paper towel and blotted to get rid of any grease. Using the same frying pan I added a good drop of olive oil, maybe a tablespoon, and began with the garlic, then mushrooms and onions, frying on medium heat.
At the last minute I found some dried Chantrelle mushrooms, so I soaked them in hot water for a while and then added the whole bowl into the pan, liquid included. A few medium Italian tomatoes, chopped, were tossed with their juice into the sauce. Lastly, I roughly chopped the bacon and added that. As the sauce simmered I threw in enough pasta for the three of us into the water and stirred occasionally until it was cooked al dente.
When the pasta was done, I removed a cup of the water before straining it. I mixed the eggs with half of the cheese. Then threw in the pasta and half of the water, mixing to cover the pasta in the sauce and incorporate all the bits. Bumping the heat, I poured in the egg mixture and kept stirring, vigorously.
That was my 45-minute solution to needing a full meal, ready to eat almost immediately!
If you want to freshen this dish up even more, some extra grated cheese, freshly ground pepper, and chopped Italian parsley will complete the dish beautifully.

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