Pasta Carbonara

So on my home from work today, I was thinking spaghetti because I was feeling lazy. And what is easier than ground beef and pasta sauce? But then I thought I should put in some effort and stopped at the market to buy some bacon in order to make a carbonara. I love carbonara and order it quite often. I enjoy the creaminess of the pasta, and of course, the bacon/pancetta. So I started to make this dish, and guess what? NO CREAM. I had no idea. I would have put money on it that there was some heavy cream involved. But alas, there is not, which isn’t a bad thing. I got the recipe from the Food Network.  Other than that, this dish came out quite well, but it was fairly heavy, and we had no room for dessert after (even though I had bought a cheesecake).

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Ingredients

  • 1lb spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 bacon strips sliced (I used 8 lol)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

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Directions

  • Salt and boil pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large, deep skillet on medium heat until crisp
  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute
  • Mix the 2 eggs and parmesan cheese together, avoiding clumps
  • Drain the noodles well, and toss into the bacon fat, coating them well
  • Mix the noodles in the fat for a minute over heat
  • Remove the pan from heat and mix in the egg and parmesan mix, allowing the hot noodles to cook the eggs
  • Add a dash of chopped parsley to each plate and enjoy

 

Spicy Turkey Sausage Pasta

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The other day I got some spicy turkey Italian sausages from the market.  This is the first time I have ever bought turkey sausage, so I had no idea how it would taste (generally I am a pork all the way kind of guy).  You can definitely taste the difference, but its still pretty good and healthier, so I suppose that’s a plus.  In the past, I have either grilled them up and put them in a bun and called it a day, or made a standard spaghetti and threw them on top.  This time though, I thought I would try to incorporate the sausage a little more, so I made a penne pasta with a light marinara sauce and sausage.  I did not work off any kind of recipe, so feel free to make your own stuff up too.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb of penne pasta
  • 4 Italian sausages (spicy)
  • 2 yellow/orange bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1/2 red onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

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Directions

  • Boil the pasta and set aside
  • In a large skillet, grill the whole sausages until they are approximately 1/2 cooked (~4 min on each side)
  • Chop the red onion and the bell peppers
  • Take the sausages off and cut them into slices
  • Continue to cook the sliced sausages on high heat until done
  • Remove the sausages, and add the garlic, onions and bell peppers to the pan
  • Saute the onions and bell peppers until cooked (may need to add a little oil)
  • Add the sausages back to the pan and continue to saute for a minute on medium heat
  • Add the marinara sauce and bring to a light bubble
  • Add the penne and mix throughly
  • Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and enjoy

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Shrimp Scampi Linguine

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Today was an easy going day. I left work early, took a nap, and decided to make a pasta for dinner. Shrimp was on my mind, so the obvious choice was to make a shrimp scampi. I really like shrimp scampi, but weirdly, I have never ordered it at a restaurant, nor have I ever made it before. I guess that is because my mom loves shrimp scampi and it’s almost a 100% guarantee that she will order it, which would allow me to finish her meal or at least steal some when we go out. But today I made it for the first time, but definitely not the last. Oh, and I got the recipe courtesy of the Food Network.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (I used linguine)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 shallots, finely diced (I used red onions since I already had some)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes,to taste
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Pino Grigio)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

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Directions

  • Salt and boil pasta, then drain
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter in 2 tbsp EVOO in a large skillet or saucepan over med-high heat
  • Saute shallots (onions), garlic, and pepper flakes until the onions are cooked through
  • Salt and pepper the shrimp
  • Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until pink/orange, then remove the shrimp
  • Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil
  • Add 2 tbsp EVOO and melt 2 tbsp butter into the liquid
  • Add the shrimp, parsley, and pasta to the mix
  • Add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly
  • Eat it!

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The recipe online also says to drizzle some EVOO on top at the end, but I found this to be unnecessary since there was plenty of oil before that, so I didn’t add any.  This recipe was a lot simpler and quicker than I thought it would be, which is pretty awesome, because it was pretty delicious. Add some parmesan cheese and top it with some parsley and that’s it. Hope you enjoy it too.

Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

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So I was trolling Yahoo! Food and came across this recipe for a slow roasted tomato sauce. With nothing better to make, I decided to try it. I realized half way through that I had no meat to pair with it, and was super close to running to the market to pick up something, but ended up doing something more unbelievable…leaving it a vegetarian meal. Both proud and disappointed at the same time, this meal was decent, but not what I expected. I followed the recipe exactly, but it ended up being a little too sweet for my taste (maybe less balsamic next time), or adding meat (the salt from meat would probably even it out).

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  • Mix tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish
  • Mix EVOO, balsamic, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl
  • Pour mix over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour

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So after they were baked/roasted, I honestly did not know what to do with them. I tried to break the tomatoes and mix them to make a sauce, but while the tomatoes broke, the skins didn’t really reduce. So I ended up putting a few of the tomatoes in the food processor and pulsing it a bit to make a sauce that I could mix with my spaghetti. Overall, it was like I said earlier – not what I expected, but I would definitely try it again with a few adjustments.

 

Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Happy Monday! I was pretty surprised Nate was up to do another dish for the blog today. That’s 3 in a row! I was thinking once a week was going to be our average quota. Nate opted to do a noodle based dish today, so I persuaded him to do pasta!  Mostly because of my love for cheese and the fact that his basil plant was starting to wither. He forgot plants needed sun. After going on a quick run to Trader Joe’s after work, we were set to start cooking.

This is the recipe Nate used.

The Dish:  Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Ingredients:

  • A Couple of Chicken Breast
  • 2 cups of Basil (or all of his potted plant basically)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Pasta (we used linguine)
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
  • Salt & Pepper

Steps

Pesto Sauce:

  • Add 1/3-1/2 cups of walnuts and 3 cloves of garlic to a food processor and pulse it a few times
  • Add the basil and pulse a few more times
  • Slowly add the 1/2 cup of EVOO and pulse a bit more (scraping off all the sides)
  • Add the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and pulse it yet again
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

Pasta

  • Boil the water and salt it accordingly to cook your pasta
  • Heat the pesto in a pan with a little EVOO and stir it
  • Add as much cream as you deem necessary (We ended up adding more than we originally planned to thicken it, but it didn’t turn out super creamy)
  • Add some tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Add the pasta and mix thoroughly

Chicken

  • Salt and pepper
  • You can grill it or pan fry it (He used a pan, since he can’t have a grill at his apartment)
  • Cook throughly
  • Cut and enjoy!

Here is the final product!

After the two major fails (see below), Nate’s dish actually came out as a major success! He was very impressed with himself, which he claims is hard to do. Obviously, I added more parmesan cheese to my pasta. The pasta wasn’t as heavy as I expected which is how I prefer it. It was pretty light dish overall and I loved the nutty and crunchy texture of the pesto. We paired our pasta dish with a light side salad as well to balance out the heavy carbs.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our next noodle dish!

Cooking Fails

**Please don’t be as clumsy as we were