I’m not a huge pasta person. I see pasta as merely a vessel to get as much sauce as possible into my mouth. But when I really want to eat pasta, I want carbonara. It lets perfect al dente pasta shine and with a squeeze of lemon juice on top its a perfect. I like to use bucatini, mainly because of Aziz on Master of None.
That ain’t spaghetti, that’s bucatini! It’s a thicker noodle, dummy!
bucatini alla carbonara
- Bucatini pasta (two servings worth)
- Reserve 1/2 c pasta water
- 3 pieces of pancetta diced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 T butter
- 1/2 fresh grated parm
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (not classic but I love it)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Bring water to a boil and drop the pasta – be sure to add a big scoop of salt. Cook till al dente
Wisk eggs and set aside. Cook up the pancetta in a large skillet (Fun fact: it doesn’t render nearly as much fat (or smoke) as bacon so it won’t stink up the kitchen). When its crisp add garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Add the butter.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet toss until all the noodles are shiny and coated in the butter and pancetta. Remove from heat! Mix in the egg mixture stirring constantly, the sauce will slowly thicken as the eggs cook but won’t scramble. You can add the pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.
Mix in the cheese, lemon zest, and tons of fresh cracked black pep!! Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy.
My birthday is tomorrow! Woohoo. I’ve reached the age where a birthday is pretty much just another day – BUT it’s a beautiful day where I can eat cake and carbs with ZERO guilt. I started the carb train a night early… so sue me.
ricotta and sausage stuffed shell in brown butter sweet potato sauce
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage browned and drained
- 1 package pasta shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 shredded parm cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seansonig
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon AP flour
- 1 cup boiled sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Boil the shells but don’t cook them all the way! About 9 minutes. Drain and cool and set aside.
In your ninja or blender – blitz potatoes and water! Set aside.
Mix cooled sausage, ricotta, 1/2 the parm, egg and Italian seasoning together. Set aside. (I like saying set aside. It’s like a check off a check list.)
Browned butter can be tricky but the key is DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM IT. Place your butter in a large skillet and melt the butter. Bubbles will begin to form as the butter melts, keep whisking the butter as it begins to turn brown. You’ll see the color change and smell the nuttiness.
Remove from heat and add the garlic, cook or about 30 seconds. Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of flour. Add the milk, sweet potato puree and pepper. Whisk well and slowly add the remaining parm. Poor this sauce into a baking dish.
Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of your cheese/sausage goodie then place in the dish. Bake off at 375 until bubbly! About 25 minutes. Top with grated parm and something green!