Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pasta Carbonara with Grilled Chicken

It's been ages since I've made Pasta Carbonara. But when my friend raved about this recipe, I knew I had to give it a go.  And given the response at the dinner table, I'm sure it will make it's way back into our menus.  Maybe not very often as it's far from low-cal, but it is very delicious.

 Pasta Carbonara
 adapted from Food Network 


For chicken
3 large chicken breast, cut into strips
Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt & pepper

For pasta
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz slab bacon, cooked and chopped
1 teaspoon diced garlic, about 2 cloves
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup cream or half and half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 oz pasta of your choice
1/2 cup frozen peas, if desired
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter, if needed

1. Toss chicken breasts in seasonings and vinegar.  Allow to marinate for 10 minutes, if time allows.  Grill either on a pit or in a grill pan until done, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside and chop.

2. Put the water in a large pasta pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas about halfway, leaving past slightly under cooked.

3. Cook bacon however you perfer. I use the microwave and a bacon rack so that the grease drips away.
4. Add the oil to large saute pan. You can use a bit of the bacon fat, if you prefer. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant . Add the wine, cream and black pepper. Cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir in chopped, cooked bacon and chicken.
5. When pasta is just undercooked, remove it from the water and add it to the pan with the sauce. Gently stir for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add 1/2 the cheese and the egg white and stir, being careful not to break the noodles. Add the egg yolks and lightly toss. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with the remaining cheese. If using half and half, you may find you need to add a bit of butter to loosen the sauce a little after the addition of eggs.  Enjoy.

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