Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Pasta Carbonara

2016-05-01 17.44.35

A match made in heaven, are peas and pancetta. My Pasta Carbonara highlights these two ingredients perfectly. One main ingredient, in this dish, is freshly cracked/ground black pepper. From what I understand, many years ago, this dish got its name from woodcutters who made charcoal for fuel. Those men would come home dirty and black from a hard day’s work. Therefore the black pepper in this dish represents that look.

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 deep-sided frying pan, 6-quart saucepot, chef’s knife, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 small mixing bowl, a 10-cup food processor, colander spoon

Ingredients:
2 boxes of Gemelli (substitute 1 pound of spaghetti)
1 package of thawed frozen peas
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of dry white wine (substitute unsalted chicken broth)
4 whole eggs plus, 1 yolk
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 1/4 cup back to top serving dishes)
1 pinch of Kosher salt to taste (a good handful of Kosher salt for pasta water)
1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Place a large saucepot on the stove filled with water over medium-high heat. This will allow you time to prepare the ingredients for the dish while waiting for the water to boil.

Have ready, a whole package of thawed frozen peas in a bowl.

In a large cold sauté pan add olive oil and diced pancetta. Do not turn the heat on just yet.

Next, grind up 2 cups of Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Transfer the grated cheese to a bowl and set aside.

Note: Reserve 1/4 cup of the grated cheese to top individual servings.

In another bowl, crack 4 eggs and one egg yolk and beat them together with 1 tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper. Measure a 1/4 cup of dry white wine (or chicken broth), and have the minced garlic set to one side. Once all the ingredients are ready it’s time to make the dish.

Turn the deep-sided frying pan with the diced pancetta and olive oil to medium heat. Start to render down the pancetta, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add a handful of Kosher salt into the pot of boiling water. Add the pasta, of your choice, giving it a big stir, and follow the cooking time according to the directions on the box.

Once the pancetta is crispy transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons the pancetta fat in the pan. If you don’t think you have that much, you can add a little olive oil.

This process goes fairly quickly. Pan still on medium heat, next, add in the minced garlic, diced shallot, and the wine. Using a wooden spoon, and while shallots and garlic are cooking, around 3 to 4 minutes, scrape up all those delicious pancetta bits that are trapped in the bottom of the pan. Let that liquid bubble up for about a minute until the alcohol has cooked out.

To the pan, using one of those large colander spoons, transfer the pasta into the pan. Next, return the cooked pancetta to the pan. Make sure to coat the all pasta with the pancetta fat, wine, and garlic that has remained in the pan. Note: if the pasta seems a little to dry and sticking together, add in a little olive oil to loosen it up.

At this point, add the crispy pancetta, the peas (the heat will warm the peas through), and the egg mixture. Using a pair of tongs, toss to combine while still over the heat, until eggs just start to set. Turn the heat off, but keep the pan on the burner. Immediately add the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Toss those ingredients through then remove from the heat.

Pasta Carbonara is best served hot. Don’t forget about adding more cheese to the top of your dish!

Pasta Carbonara Souffle

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Pasta Carbonara Souffle

2015-05-01 17.06.16

2015-05-01 17.06.19

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

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All-Purpose Flour

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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2015-05-01 17.06.19

2015-05-01 17.06.16

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 48 to 50 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (3-quart) baking dish (15″ x  9 1/2″ x  2 1/2 “high), 6-quart saucepot, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, colander, 1 (10-inch) sauté pan, large mixing bowl, hand-held electric mixer, Microplane.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 pound (1 box) of Barilla Cellentani (corkscrew pasta) slightly undercooked, rinsed, and cooled (substitute gluten-free pasta)
3 cups of whole milk, room temperature (substitute 2%)
1 cup of half-and-half, room temperature
1/2 a stick (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, plus 3 tablespoons for the top (extra for greasing the baking dish)
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, (substitute gluten-free flour)
5 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
4 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley plus 2 tablespoons for garnish, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package of the ‘Italian blend’ shredded cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
First butter the bottom and sides of the baking dish.

Start with a small cold sauté pan add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and diced pancetta. Cook over medium heat allowing all the fat to render out and the pancetta to become crisp, around 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crisp diced pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any extra grease. Set aside.

Place 4 egg whites in a clean glass bowl. I’m looking for them to be nice and frothy. With the mixer on low, beat the whites until they become frothy but not quite to the soft peaks stage. At this point, add the cream of tartar. Continue beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted add the flour (optional, gluten-free flour). Continuously whisking until the raw flour is cooked out and becomes blonde in color and paste-like forming a *roux.

In a 3-quart saucepot bring milk and half-and-half (*scald) up to temperature. Pour the hot milk mixture into the *roux all at once. Add 1 teaspoon each of Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Double-check the thickness by dipping a wooden spoon into the sauce. Take your finger and make a line down the back of the spoon, if the sauce stays separated and doesn’t run together. Turn the heat off.

Remove the pot from the heat, then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Switch to a spatula, stir to combine. Next, gently *fold in the egg whites.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta one-minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions for about 8 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Drain the pasta into a large colander. 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.

To assemble, add half the cooled pasta, then half of the cheesy souffle sauce. On top of that, sprinkle half of the cooked Pancetta. Repeat this process one more time. Now for the topping, add the finely shredded Italian cheese blend, a little more of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. *Dot the top all over with butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes. You want the dish to rise beautifully as a souffle should.

Allow the dish to rest for 15 to 20 minutes to set.

*Dot is to place little pieces of butter on the top of a casserole dish or pie.

*Fold or folding is a very precise term in cooking and baking. It meat that you have to carefully combine two mixtures of different thickness and weight into one (relatively) smooth mixture. This is accomplished by a specific technique of using a spatula to lift the two mixtures together, turning them over so they combine.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

*Scald is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.

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