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Nov-4-2014

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.

GRAND TOTAL: $7.75



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Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Andouille Pasta

Apparently veggie prices are going to sky rocket for a few months. I’m told it’s because of flooding and frost. It was quite shocking to see lettuce AND celery at $2 a bunch. But, luckily, Sprouts seemed to counteract the high veggie prices with some great meat and seafood deals. Sounds good to me. Shrimp and Andouille? Hmmm. Screams cajun pasta to me! How about you? Oh, and if you like it super spicy (like me and my hubby), top with a dash of cayenne. Yummo!

Creamy Cajun Rigatoni:

1/2 to 3/4 bag of rigatoni pasta (or your preferred pasta) cooked as directed – $.75
1/2 lb Shrimp (41-50 count) – $2.49 (on sale this week for $4.99/lb)
1 or two andouille (sliced on bias) – $.99 (on sale this week. I used one, should have used 2)
1 green pepper, diced – $.77
1/2 onion, diced – $.25
1 large Roma Tomato, diced – $.35
2 cups half and half – $1.75
1 small can of drained, mushrooms – $.79
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated – $.50
1 cup milk – fridge
3 Tbsps butter (olive oil for more heart healthy) – $.40
2 Tbsp flour – pantry
3 Tbsps Cajun or Soul Seasoning – pantry
1/2 tsp salt – pantry
1 tsp minced garlic – pantry
1/2 pepper – pantry

COST: $9.04

Place shrimp in bowl and season with 1 tablespoon Soul Seasoning. Toss till coated and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté andouille in butter or olive oil until cooked, then add shrimp. Cook a few mins on each side (till pink), then remove shrimp and andouille. Shell shrimp while continuing to cook cream sauce.

In the same pan, sauté onion, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 mins, then add diced tomato and sprinkle remainder of soul or cajun seasoning over veggies. Mix and continue cooking on medium heat. Add flour and stir. Whisk in milk and stir till thick and mixture comes to simmer. Add parmesan cheese and stir. Add half and half, as well as sausage and shrimp to milk/roux mixture. Bring back up to simmer and immediately turn off.

Pour sauce over cooked and well drained rigatoni or linguine and toss. Top with more Parmesan cheese and serve with salad or garlic bread.

We served with some fresh cut french bread. The loaf price at our local fresh market is $1.29, but we only used half, so add I added .$.65 cents.

GRAND TOTAL: $9.69 (Pasta and French bread)



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