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Linguine alla Carbonara

Posted by Renae under Italian, Pasta, Pork, Sauce

linguine alla Carbonara

I once saw Tyler Florence make Carbonara on Food911. It looked so delicious and rather easy for such a beautiful dish, I just had to try it.

Now, I know pancetta is probably more traditional for this meal, but I’m watching costs here. So, I made some modifications and substituted Pancetta with Bacon ends. Besides. Who doesn’t love bacon? OK, my daughter doesn’t like bacon as much and me and her daddy, but she still enjoyed this dish. I just promised to make it with Pancetta next time. Just to compare. As for me and my hubby, this was PERFECT! Bacon good!!!

Linguine alla Carbonara:

1 lb dry Linguine – $1.59
2 Tbsps olive oil – pantry
4 ounces bacon ends or thick sliced (finely cube or slice into very small strips) – $1.50
1-2 Tbsps garlic, finely minced or crushed ( – pantry
2 large eggs – $.66
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (fresh is best) – $1.75
1 tsp pepper – pantry
handful or so of fresh chopped parsley – $.25

COST: $5.75

Begin preparing your carbonara sauce while the linguine is cooking. You must time this dish so that your pasta is hot and done cooking when the sauce is ready to be finished. It’s the heat of the pasta that actually cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

When boiling your pasta, cook it “al dente.” Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. You’ll need it!

Meanwhile, cook bacon until it’s crisp and the fat is fully rendered. Add in olive oil and garlic and saute for about a minute to soften.

Drain your hot linguine and add to the bacon mixture. Toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the fat. Beat your eggs and Parmesan together in a bowl. Remove the pasta and bacon from heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta and whisk quickly until the eggs thicken. You’ll need to add about 1/4 cup of your reserved pasta water as you whisk. This will help your sauce remain smooth and not too thick. Careful not to scramble (this is why this process is done off the heat).

You may need to thin out the sauce a bit more. Use your reserved pasta water. Season the carbonara with ground black pepper and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and some additional Parmesan.

We had steamed broccoli ($2.00) as our side dish, but you could do just about any veggie or salad. Just remember, this dish is best served immediately. Nice and hot and wonderfully creamy.


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Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and AvocadoBLT’s are awesome! They’re so awesome, I risk all injury to the roof of mouth to enjoy every bite.

So how can this simple sandwich improve?   Avocado, of course!  A much better fat than mayo and even better when they’re on sale, 4 for $1. I had to hunt for ones that weren’t over ripe, but it was worth the effort. Man! These sandwiches rocked!

You could serve with nearly any kind of chip or soup on the side. We had them with clam chowder, but I wasn’t happy with my last recipe. I’ve made it before and it was awesome, but I couldn’t remember what I did. Typical. Anyway, I’ll redo it and post soon. Maybe in a bread bowl. Those things are so expensive. It’s time I learned to make them on my own.

The next time you’re craving a BLT, take that wonderfully simple sandwich from good to GREAT. Add Avocado!

Bacon, Lettuce,Tomato & Avocado Sandwich (BLTA):

1/2 loaf fresh French bread – $.75
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (optional) – pantry / fridge
1 lb bacon (I like bacon ends, thick, from butcher) – $2.99
1/2 head romaine or iceberg lettuce – $.49
2 medium tomato, sliced – $.60
2 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed – $.50 (on sale)
1 Roma Tomatoes, Diced – $.20
Dash of lemon or lime juice – fridge (save opened, sliced leftover citrus in plastic baggy for times like this)
1 Serrano Pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp salt – pantry
Pepper to taste – pantry
1/2 garlic powder – pantry

COST: $5.53

Fresh French Bread is pretty cheap in the deli of most stores these days. Don’t be afraid to use for sandwiches. Using a serrated knife and cutting board, slice eight 1 1/2″ slices for your sandwiches. Spread slices with butter (optional). In preheated oven (375), place bread slices, butter side up directly on rack. Rack should be 2nd down from the top. Let toast, but watch careful to not burn. Depending on your taste, you can toast fully or leave a bit chewy. Once done, remove and set aside.

Cook bacon to desired crispness. I find that for BLT’s, it’s best to lean to the very crispy side. But, be careful. Nothing worse than burnt bacon!

While bacon is cooking, you can prepare your fixings. For the avocado spread, it’s really like making a simple Guacamole. Dice tomato and add to mashed avocado. Add 1 tsp lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and mix well. Add serrano chile if you want it spicy. Set aside and finish bacon.

When bacon is done, place on paper towel to drain oil. Now you’re ready to assemble.

Place the avocado/guacamole on 1 slice of toast, then bacon, then tomato slices, and then lettuce. Pepper lettuce and tomato to taste and top with another slice of toast. The order doesn’t really matter. I do mine backwards, but it’s because I never pay attention. Just if you put the bacon first, the avo helps it stay and not slide off with every bite.

These are awesome! Did I mention? This recipe makes about 6 sandwiches, so have another. Go ahead! No one’s watching.


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