Mariel here. Despite getting the flu shot this past fall, we’ve been laid up for the past week with good old influenza. My son succumbed first and then I followed suit a few days later. This was one of the roughest stretches since those crazy newborn days and I’m still under the weather six (endless) days in. My mom, as always, really stepped up to the plate and made sure we stayed well-fed and semi-sane, and on Wednesday she brought by takeout Penne Carbonara from a local Italian place. Somewhere, in the deep recesses of my achy brain, it reminded me that I had elected to make Carbonara for Secret Recipe Club.
I was assigned Our Eating Habits and had bookmarked a number of delicious-looking pasta recipes since I love nothing more than carbo-loading at the end of a long day. This one ended up winning out partly because it meant I didn’t need to hit up the grocery store – I had just about every single ingredient on-hand, and what I didn’t have (like heavy cream) was easily substituted. While I didn’t intend to adapt this recipe, I ended up making it a bit lighter thanks to the inclusion of 2% milk. I think this is a winner any way you make it and I look forward to whipping up another one of Jamie‘s dishes (most likely this light Alfredo) as soon as I’m back in working order.
Lighter Pasta Carbonara with Peas
Adapted from Our Eating Habits
½ lb. bacon, crumbled – $3.59
4 large garlic cloves, minced or run through a press – stock
2 large/jumbo shallots, finely diced – $1.89
1 lb. Spaghetti, Linguine or Fettucini – $1.59
Splash of olive oil – stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas – $1.99
½-cup 2% or whole milk – stock
2 large eggs – stock
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – stock
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg – stock
½ teaspoon kosher salt – stock
Generous amount of freshly ground pepper – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $9.06
Cost per serving: $2.26
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add a splash of olive oil. Cook the peas for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the pasta in the same water until al dente (according to package instructions).
2. While pasta is cooking, use a large non-stick skillet to fry bacon over medium flame until crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to cool. Once cooled, crumble and set aside.
3. Dispose of all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. In the same skillet (with the Tablespoon of bacon grease), saute the garlic and shallots over lowest heat until tender and starting to caramelize. You’ll leave these over a low flame until the very end, just remember to stir occasionally to prevent burning.
4. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat with a fork until creamy and yellow. Add cheese, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
5. Drain pasta, add it to the skillet with the shallots. Toss with the egg mixture, then add the peas and crumbled bacon.
6. Serve immediately.