Fettucine alla carbonara.

Does anybody actually say it like that? I mean, besides chefs and Italians? ‘Cause to be honest, my carbonara is more like… carbonara e verdure. I say that because I recently decided I liked adding vegetables to my pastas, especially when it comes to cream sauces. Verily, since I don’t really eat tomato-based sauces in the first place, although there are exceptions (creamy tomato sauce? I’m looking for a good recipe candidate to fill the role).

I’ve discovered that peas tend to be my favorite veggie ‘additive,’ though you could throw almost anything in with carbonara. I would use corn (maybe roasted), grilled asparagus or roasted cauliflower. I really think that the flavor that roasting brings out in veggies would complement this recipe quite well (because of the bacon). I definitely want to try some roasted cauliflower next time, get a nice color scheme going on.

The only real problem I had with the recipe was user error. I think I heated the cream a little too long (and using single cream may have had its own effect) and subsequently came out with mildly clumpy sauce when it was all said and done. I’m honestly not sure if it was heating the cream too much, or if it was tempering the egg before adding it wholly to the cream that caused that. Nonetheless, I was highly pleased with it. I’ll be making it again, that’s for sure.

And just as a sidenote, probably an unnecessary one: if you’re going to roast your veggie, or grill it, whatever, you’ll probably want to cook it first so you can have it ready when you’re throwing it all together.

(Recipe under the cut.)

Fettucine alla Carbonara e Verdure

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

cooking time: 20-25 minutes

ingredients:

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 ounces whole wheat fettuccine or linguine
1 egg, beaten
1 cup half-and-half (I used light cream and 1% milk)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup of your favorite vegetable (I used frozen peas)
Coarsely ground black pepper
Dried or fresh herbs

directions:

Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Cook vegetable and pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a saucepan combine egg, half-and-half, and butter. (NOTE: If you want, temper the egg and add it last!) Cook and stir over medium heat until egg mixture just coats a metal spoon. DO NOT BOIL. Pour sauce over pasta; stir gently to coat and add Parmesan, pepper to taste and add herbs if you wish.

Serves 4-6.

I also have this posted on SparkRecipes, here, which includes the nutritional info (roundabout) for the recipe with peas.

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