Thursday, March 23, 2017

Baked Carbonara

Baked Carbonara - made January 30, 2017 from Off the Shelf by Donna Hay
One of my guilty pleasures is Spaghetti Carbonara. It's totally bad for you and horrific with calories so I don't eat it often. If I do, I double up on my workouts before and after. I'm not a bacon lover and, if confronted with a choice of breakfast meats, will go for sausage or ham before I'll eat bacon. But when it comes to carbonara, bacon is my protein of choice. Because all that heavy cream and pasta just cry out for crunchy bacon to go with them and really harden up your arteries in a team effort. In a for a penny, in for an extra couple of pounds.
As with almost all Donna Hay recipes, this is easy to make. Seriously easy. Traditional carbonara calls for mixing the egg and cream mixture then tossing it with hot pasta just drained from a pot of boiling water. It's the heat of the pasta that cooks the egg and thickens the mixture. A carbonara made well is worth every calorie as nothing beats that creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Your noodles need to be hot enough to cook the eggs in your liquid mixture just enough to thicken but not so hot that it literally cooks your eggs or you'll have bits of scrambled egg instead of a creamy sauce.
This version is baked so you don't have to worry about the temperature of your pasta. There will seem to be a lot of sauce but remember you're baking the pasta and it'll absorb a lot of the liquid. The risk with baking a carbonara sauce though is your sauce may get too hot and bake some of the egg into scrambled eggs. If you're worried, try baking at a slightly lower temperature like 325 degrees and covering with foil for the first 10-15 minutes. Leave uncovered for the last 15 minutes though to make sure the bacon stays crisp.
This is rich, no doubt about it, and consequently, is a "sometimes" meal. But it can't be beat for how easy it is to put together.
14 ounces pasta
1 pack of bacon
4 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain.
  3. Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and chop into pieces.
  4. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Place pasta in an 8-cup (4-pint) ovenproof dish and pour egg-milk-cream mixture over it. Top with bacon and mix with pasta. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

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