Friday, March 18, 2011

Art of True Italian Cooking

My dear friend Shannon came over the other night to share with me the art of making a truly Italian dish. I have been lucky enough to have her Carbonara in the past and was hoping she would share her knowledge with me.

It was a blast just to get to make dinner with her - but to come out a little more culinary rounded was an extra bonus.

True Italian Carbonara:
Cook/Prep Time: approx 50 mins Skill level: medium

1 – 2 table spoons Olive Oil
1/3 onion
1 small zucchini
1/3- 1/2 cup diced bacon
1 ½ cups half & half
3 eggs
Parmesan cheese
1 package shell noodles
Basil, salt and pepper to taste

- Mince onion to small pieces, cut zucchini and bacon to small cubes.
- Boil a pot of salted water and get noodles cooking.
- Heat olive oil and sauté onions until clear, add zucchini and sauté for a couple minutes and then add bacon.
- In a small sauce pan whisk 3 eggs and about a cup to a cup and ½ of half and half, add Parmesan cheese to your liking – heat on low just to warm a bit.
- Once the noodles are done, save about 3/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the rest and return to pan.
- While noodles are still hot pour your cream sauce over the noodles (put the pan on the burner that was just warming the sauce so it is on a low heat) the heat from the noodles should start to cook the eggs and your sauce will thicken and get more of a grainy, cheesy texture.
- Add in the onions, zucchini, and bacon.
- Season with basil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

  • This is kind of one of those recipes that you can eyeball most ingredients and make it to your liking
  • You can't even tell the onion is in this (honestly and I am an onion hater) so if you are thinking of leaving that out - don't.
  • Shannon brought these big shell noodles she got from World Market - they were the same kind she made this with in Italy - but any shell noodle works, but I liked that these were bigger than normal. They catch the sauce in the inside and biting into them is like a little present.

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