Welcome to “Wordless Tuesday!” Where there are no stories just a fabulous and delicious recipe or two…..
This creative take on Spaghetti Carbonara, the egg-rich pasta dish from Rome, includes healthy and tasty greens and no cream. In Italian fashion, complete the meal with fresh winter fruit and a “Carrot Cake Cocktail.” Today is also Carrot Cake Day, so should I make carrot cake? Healthy carrot muffins? I could, of course, but this cocktail was way more fun.
“Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach”
4 oz. of bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
8 to 10oz. dried spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 bunch Spinach or other hearty greens, chopped
4 to 5 (8oz.) button mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Place a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot and stir for 2 minutes. Add the wine and boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, until reduced by half, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Mix in mushrooms and cheese and a generous amount of pepper.
Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta. Reheat the bacon/pancetta mixture briefly, and then remove from the heat. Add the pasta and spinach to the fry pan. Gradually whisk 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the fry pan and stir until it coats the pasta and is creamy, not wet and runny. If the egg mixture does not become creamy, set the pan over very low heat and stir constantly just until it becomes creamy, watching carefully (do not boil). Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Mix in enough of the remaining 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid to form a silky texture.
**Quick tips: To prevent overcooking, this will cause curdling, take the fry pan off the heat before mixing in the egg mixture. Then, only if necessary, cook over very low heat and stir constantly just until the eggs start to thicken.
Finish your meal with a fresh winter fruit salad.
Wine Pairing: This pairs well with rich, medium-bodied white wines.
"Carrot Cake Cocktail”
Makes: 2 glasses or more….
10 Baby carrots
4 oz. Cream or half & half
2 oz. Vanilla vodka
2 oz. Spiced rum
1 oz. Irish cream liqueur
2 oz. Butterscotch liqueur or sauce (recipe follows)
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons easy cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 Tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved.
Butterscotch Sauce: (only use if can not find butterscotch liqueur)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
Melt the sugar in a pot over a low to medium flame. Do not walk away. When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove it from the heat and add the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble up. Return to a low heat, add the butter, vanilla and salt and stir until all lumps are gone and the sauce is a light golden brown.
Prepare the glasses by dipping the rims into the cream cheese frosting and immediately rolling them around in the chopped walnuts. Place in the refrigerator to set while you assemble the rest of the cocktail.
Add the carrots and cream to a blender and puree until the carrots are completely broken down. Add the liquid to a cocktail shaker along with the vodka, rum, Irish cream liqueur, 2 tablespoons of butterscotch sauce, sea salt and cinnamon. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Pour through a strainer into the prepared cocktail glasses.
Till Next Time………
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