{ Recipe Monday } Penne Carbonara

This is one of the BEST pasta dishes I’ve ever had. It’s cheesy, it’s salty, and it has bacon. Need I say more? The sauce consists of egg yolks, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Not exactly heart-healthy… but it’s fantastic every once in a while. Give it a try! It’s great with chicken added in, or spinach, or asparagus. Or anything you really think would be good with it! Play around with it.

ImagePhoto source.

Penne Carbonara
Original recipe by Jamie Oliver

7 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
5 extra large egg yolks
1 carton (5 oz) of finely shredded parmesan cheese (the REAL stuff, not the green can)
1 lb. box penne pasta (whole wheat is really yummy!)
1/2 package low sodium bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled into pea-size pieces, or pancetta
Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. While it’s cooking, mix together the cream, egg yolks, and 3/4 of the cheese. Add a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. (You may want to add more when you’re done if it’s not enough for you. I like a LOT of pepper!) When pasta is done al dente, strain off the water and then put the pasta immediately back into the HOT PAN you cooked it in. (I like to even leave the pan on the burner that is still warm to help with this next part.) Take the cream and cheese mixture and pour steadily but slowly into the HOT pasta. While you are pouring, stir with a wooden spoon quickly so the cheese melts and the egg yolks don’t separate out — it’s happened to me before and it’s like having little scrambled eggs in the pasta. EW! (It’s helpful to have someone stir and someone pour! TEAMWORK!) Add the bacon after the cheese is completely melted. Then add more salt and pepper if needed. At this point you could also add roasted red bell peppers… or other vegetables if you want! It’s also really good with shredded chicken or other meat! I like cooking the chicken in the bacon grease and cutting into strips the same size as the pasta. It’s deliciousness. Play with it! 🙂 Serve immediately. Serves about 5. (One egg yolk per person served and about 3 oz pasta per person served if you want to make more!)

Serve with garlic toast. ENJOY!