Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tired of the same old pasta and Prego?

...Then spice it up with a delicious and easy Pasta Carbonara Florentine. The key is to get all your ingredients chopped and prepared because cooking only takes about 10 minutes. Perfect for a dinner with friends or put the leftovers in a tupperware and you have dinner for the next couple of days!

Pasta Carbonara Florentine
(modified from Rachel Ray's The Only Recipe You Need: Carbonara)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound rigatoni ( I used penne instead)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped (can substitute with bacon)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 or 6 cloves garlic, chopped
Half a large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks (I used 3)
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (can substitute with parmesan)
A handfull of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and rigatoni; cook to al dente, about 8 minutes

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Then add onion and mushrooms and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.

Beat yolks, then add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scramling when added to the pasta.

Drain pasta well. Add the spinach and pasta directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese and lots of pepper and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and extra cheese.

Serves 4.


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