While planning my friend’s Bridal “Meet and Greet” on Pinterest, I came across this easy-to-make pasta recipe from How Sweet It Is Blog, the perfect dish for a rainy night in.
Traditional pasta carbonara is made by coating pasta in a rich and creamy sauce of whole eggs, Parmesan cheese and pork. We elevated this traditional dish, by adding one of my favorite vegetables – Brussels sprouts! The sprouts added a nice rich, sweet and nutty flavor to the pasta.
1/2 pound Bucatini (I love the thick noodles, but you can also use spaghetti)
6 slices thick Applewood smoked bacon, chopped
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped*
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese
Fry the bacon in a large skillet over gentle heat until crisp. While bacon is cooking, begin boiling the water for the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Once bacon is crisp, transfer pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Remove half of the bacon grease with a large spoon and set aside in a bowl.
Add Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes. (You want the Brussels sprouts to caramelize a bit, so cook without stirring for at least 4 minutes. Stir and continue cooking for 2-4 minutes). Add the minced garlic to the sprouts and cook for one more minute. Remove sprouts and set aside in bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and gradually add the cheese. Add a small dash of salt and pepper (you can add more later to the cooked pasta).
When the bucatini is cooked, drain pasta (reserve some pasta water, just in case **), add the reserved bacon grease to pot and heat on low. Add cooked pasta back into pot and coat with grease. Remove pot from heat*** and add the egg/cheese mixture, tossing several times until fully coated. Quickly add the bacon, Brussels sprouts and additional pepper / salt if needed. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.
*In the spring, try replacing Brussels sprouts with peas
**If needed, add a few splashes of reserved pasta water to help loosen the sauce.
***It’s important that the pot has been removed from the heat otherwise the egg/cheese mixture will curdle. The heat from the pasta is sufficient to cook the egg mixture.
After a long day at work, home alone and not one inch of me wanting to shop or order take out resulted in this dish. Which I can say was easy, delicious and pretty, so naturally I fell in love and now make it all the time.
The best part of this dish is that it can be different every time. Keeping a box of pasta in your pantry at all times is a must for this reason! Then add in any veggies or protein you have for a quick satisfying bite.
What you need: (For this version)
Box of your favorite pasta (gluten free or regular both work)
1/4 cup of milk
2 Italian sausages
1/2 red onion
Micro greens (topper)
Salt, pepper, chili powder and chili flakes
What to do:
Bring a large pot of water to boil
Drizzle a lil bit of olive oil and cook pasta for about 6 minutes (if gluten free) to al dente
In another saucepan:
Drizzle olive oil and start to heat slivered red onions – on med-high
Add in chopped up sausage after onions start to brown a lil
Turn down heat to medium
Then add in chopped shitakes
Sprinkle salt and chili powder to liking (not too much cause you can always add more)
Mix til everything looks about cooked and turn to low heat
Throw in micro greens
Time to combine:
Drain pasta and let it sit while all the mixings cook
Add pasta back into the pot and add milk
After the milk starts to boil and your pasta starts to get coated add in your toppings and mix til you get a good balance of everything in one bite
Serve with fresh herbs sprinkled on top and a pinch of cheese
In lieu of “National Pasta Day” we decided to share one of our favorite recipes from Kenwood Vineyards “Perfect Pairings” recipe book. Created by their team of Executive Chefs, this dish is perfect for the cooler weather ahead and pairs exceptionally well with Pinot Noir.
8 ounces Pappardelle pasta
2 tablespoons thyme, fresh leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled
9 ounces good spicy sausage
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms*
* Shitakes, oysters, or hen of the woods, trimmed and torn or cut up.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; add sausage, onion and garlic, breaking sausage up with spoon while cooking until onions are golden, about 7 minutes. If sausage is fatty, drain excess drippings from pan. Add mushrooms, thyme, and chilies; cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms release their liquid and it evaporates, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente in a large pot. Drain, saving ½ cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Add butter to mushroom mixture, along with a little of the cooking liquid from the pasta to loosen and deglaze. Pour mushroom mixture, parsley and parmesan cheese into pot with pasta and toss to combine. Turn out onto large platter to serve. May be garnished with more parsley and cheese.
Love pasta? Love wine? Don’t forget to enter the “Perfect Pasta Pairing” contest for a chance to win a trip for two to beautiful Sonoma County valued at $5,000.
Tweet us at @ApronsStilettos and share with us your favorite pasta recipe for #NationalPastaDay!