Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pasta Carbonara Souffle

on May 9, 2015

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Eggs and bacon mixed with pasta is a dish that dates back for many years. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Making Pasta Carbonara into a casserole, even better. Let’s get started.

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I start  with a small cold saute pan with a tiny bit of olive oil in it. I have some diced Pancetta that I’m going to render the fat out. Using a slotted spoon I just remove the Pacetta and place it on to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove any extra grease. I’ll come back to this when I’m ready to add it into the dish.

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I have a here a deep casserole dish the I’ve buttered really well. First I want to add some egg whites to the sauce to make it in the style of a souffle. I’m going to do this by hand because it’s not a lot of egg whites and a little exercise for my arms couldn’t hurt.

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I have some egg whites in a clean glass bowl that I’m whipping up into soft peaks. I’m looking for them to be nice and frothy. As they start to become frothy but not quite to soft peaks stage, I add in a pinch of cream of tartar to stabilize them. This just makes sure they won’t fall or deflate. Now for the sauce for this delicious dish.

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In a large pot I’ve added some butter, on med heat, that I’m melting. Once that’s melted I add in the flour (optional, gluten free flour). Whisk that together until the raw flour has combined well with the butter. Next, I’m adding in milk and half and half, continuously whisking. At this point I’m also adding in Kosher salt, black pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, Still whisking, the milk sauce is starting to thicken. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat off because that’s as thick as it’s going to get. I remove the pot from the heat, then add in some grated Parmesan cheese. Switch to a spatula and stir in the grated cheese. Now, I fold in the egg whites.

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I also add in some finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, (dried it fine too). You want to fold the egg whites very gently into the cheese sauce. For the pasta, follow the directions on the box. Cooking in salted boiling water but, under cook it a bit from what in box instructions say. It will finish cooking while it’s baking in the casserole.  By the time the dish comes out of the oven, the pasta will be perfectly cooked.

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For this recipe, I’m using a regular cork screw style pasta, but, I’m posting this recipe under the “gluten free” category, because it’s equally delicious with substituting gluten free flour, and gluten free pasta for this dish. I drain the pasta in a large colander. I rinse the pasta under some cold water to stop the cooking process for just a minute before adding it into the casserole dish. Once the pasta is somewhat cooled, it’s time to put this together.

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First goes half the cooled pasta, then half of the cheesy souffle sauce. On top of that I sprinkle half of the cooked Pancetta. I repeat this process one more time. Now for the topping. I add some finely shredded Italian cheese blend, a little more of the grated Parmesan cheese, and dot the top all over with some unsalted butter. Place into a 375 degree oven for around 25-30 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes. You want the dish to rise beautifully as a souffle should.

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Yields: 6-8 servings
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour
Oven Temp: 375 degrees
Ingredients:
1/4 pound of Pancetta diced
1 box of short cut pasta or substitute gluten free pasta (slightly under cooked, rinsed, and cooled)
3 cups of whole milk, room temperature
1 cup of half and half, room temperature
1/2 a stick of unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons diced for the top
1/2 cup of flour or substitute gluten free flour
5 ounce container of grated Parmesan cheese ( reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
4 egg whites beaten to soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nut meg
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley plus 2 tablespoons for garnish on the top (dried is fine too)
1- 8 ounce package of the Italian blend shredded cheese
Directions:
First butter a deep dish casserole dish. Cook of the Pancetta and let rest on a paper towel to drain off any excess grease. Prepare the egg whites to soft peaks in a bowl. On med heat, make the white sauce using the flour, milk, Kosher salt, pepper, and nut meg, Off the heat add in the Parmesan cheese. Fold in the egg whites with the finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. First layer half the cooled pasta into the casserole dish. Spoon on half the souffle sauce all over the first layer of pasta, then sprinkle with half the cooked diced Pancetta. Repeat this process once more. Top with the shredded Italian cheese blend, Parmesan cheese, and  finallydot the top with diced butter. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden brown. Do not open oven door for the first 20 minutes of cooking. When the casserole comes out of the oven garnish with some more parsley and let rest for about 15 minutes or so, giving it time to set.


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