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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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arroz_con_pollo y chorizo

This dish started with a great deal on Chorizo. I bought two packages and used one on a traditional style breakfast. Awesome, as usual. But…the other package was still sitting in the fridge and begging for something new. Figuring I’d treat it like andouille or spicy Italian sausage, I decided to piggy back off my dirty rice recipe and make a simplified version of Arroz con Pollo. With the help of Tyler Florence (his recipe is one that doesn’t call for Saffron threads), I stayed on budget and even made the dish a pretty healthy version by substituting a whole chicken with chicken breast and lean chorizo. The chorizo is so flavorful, you don’t even miss the expensive and hard to find Saffron! Ok, maybe you will miss it, but, give this version a try and see what you think. It may not be completely authentic, but it sure is tasty!

Arroz con Pollo Y Chorizo:

2 Chicken Breast, cut into 2″ cubes (1 cut up whole chicken or thighs could substitute) – $3.19
1 package (1 lb or so) Pork Chorizo sausage – $.97
2 Tbsp Olive Oil – pantry
1 medium yellow onion, diced – $.45
1 Large Red bell pepper, diced – $.77
2 cups uncooked white, long grain rice – $.40
1 can Diced Tomato – $.69
2 tsps Cumin – pantry
1 Tbsp Minced/Crushed Garlic
1 tsp dried Oregano – pantry
1 Tbsp Paprika – pantry
2 tsps cayenne (less if you prefer more mild) – pantry
1 to 2 tsps Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to your taste) – pantry
3 cups chicken stock, or water (I add 1 Tbsp bouillon to my water, it’s cheaper) – pantry
Optional: 1 Cup Green Olives

COST: $6.47

In a medium bowl, mix olive oil, 1 tsp  salt, fresh ground pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne. Toss in cubed chicken and mix, making sure all pieces are coated with the spice rub. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a 5 qt, deep saute pan with lid (I love my Paula Dean pan), fry pork chorizo over medium heat until half way cooked, then add marinated chicken breast. Continue cooking till chicken is browned and chorizo is cooked. Remove meat and set aside.

In same deep saute pan, cook diced onion and bell pepper till soft. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Stir in rice so that the grains are well coated with the sofrito (sauted veggies). Add canned tomatoes (with liquid) and broth or water with bouillon, season again with salt and pepper to taste and return chicken and chorizo as well. Give a good stir, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. No peaking!

Optional: Once dish is done, scatter stuffed green or spanish olives on top of the Arroz con Pollo before serving. We left them off as not everyone is a fan, but had some on the side for those that do like olives. Worked perfect!

GRAND TOTAL: $6.47


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