Carbonara With A Twist

I wish that spring lasted longer here.  Winter lasts way too long and summer is always anxious to arrive.  We have been holding off putting in the A/Cs but we might not make it until the end of June like we are hoping.  Yesterday was a scorcher!  I fear summer will be a bit much.

Needless to say my long list for yesterday didn’t get done!  Partly because I grossly underestimated how long it would take to clean out our closet.  Hours!  Just as well as it was to hot to bake.  Hopefully I’ll get that done today.  Wouldn’t want the kids to starve.  🙂

And I didn’t want to be standing over a hot stove either.  We have some black garlic and proscuitto on hand and carbonara is a quick dish to make.  Time for a twist on a great dish!

Carbonara with a twist 1 2015Prep everything ahead of time as this does not take long to cook.  In a bowl whisk three eggs together with salt and pepper.  Great about a cup of aged cheese together.  I used pecorino, parmesan, and romano cheese for this dish.  Cube the proscuitto, about 1/2 -3/4 cups worth.  I finely chopped two bulbs of black garlic and garlic chives.  I love having the fresh herbs from our garden again!

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Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and slowly saute the garlic. Don’t have the heat higher than medium.  While this is cooking, cook the pasta.  When the pasta is halfway cooked add the proscuitto and chive to the skillet.  The trick with the proscuitto is that you don’t want to overcook it or the flavour will get really strong.

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Add a 1/2 cup of dry white wine and lightly simmer.

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Once the pasta is cooked add it to the skillet and mix well.  Turn off the heat and add the egg and cheese mixture to the skillet.

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Toss and serve immediately.  Garnish with fresh basil and grated cheese.

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This is a dish with strong flavours and is great with homemade ciabatta bread.  Here is how to make the traditional carbonara dish.  Both great for when it’s too hot to be standing over a hot stove!

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Tuscan Potato Kale Soup

I used to subscribe to Cooking Light magazine and clip recipes.  I have a ton of them.  There was one that looked really good but boy were there a lot of steps!  Not only were there a lot of steps but it required a food processor, a blender, and several pots and pans.  I hate doing dishes.  So I retooled the recipe, so to speak.  I wanted something tasty and simple to make.  My daughter loves what I came up with.  🙂

To begin with I roast two bulbs of garlic.  This should be done earlier and allowed to cool so it is easier to work with.

Dice about a cup of onions and saute about 3/4 of that in olive oil in a large saucepan.  I use the olive oil from the roasted garlic.  Cube about 6 cups of potatoes and saute for a few minutes with the onions.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add a cup or so of chopped kale and cook another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

In the meantime, take two Italian sausages out of their casings and place in a hot skillet to begin browning.  Also add 1-2 oz of pancetta to the pan.  Once the fat begins to render add the rest of the onion to the skillet.

As this begins to brown I turn my attention back to the saucepan and add a cup of milk.  This can be cream, fat free milk, chef’s choice basically.  I add in the roast garlic and then bring it back to a simmer.

We have an immersion blender and it’s a great tool to have for soups and things.  I remove the soup from the heat and blend the ingredients together.

Once it is completely blended I add in the meat and a cup or so of grated pecorino cheese.  At this point I check the seasonings as the cheese and pancetta can be quite salty.  Add more salt if needed but not before you check at this point.  The consistency should look like this:

At this point it is ready to serve!  I always make sure there is plenty of pecorino on the table for people to grate the cheese over the soup.

While not difficult to make this soup does require a bit of time to bring it all together but it is worth the effort.  A very healthy and tasty meal!