Let me tell you, folks. This Christmas, my husband brought his A game.
Kitchenaid pasta maker attachments for my Kitchenaid stand mixer!!
I know, right? I'm not sure it gets any better.
You can imagine my excitement! Think of it, delicious, homemade pasta any day of the week, any add-ins I want, oh the possibilities! You don't know how excited I get when I spy a spinach penne from Barilla! Now, all of these possibilities, at my finger tips! Homemade!
I really hope I'm not the only one who gets excited over these sorts of things. Anyone? Maybe?
Ahh, who am I kidding. I know you're out there, kindred spirits! And because you are, I know you will love this recipe that I whipped up using my very first batch of homemade fettuccine.
~12 oz spinach fettuccine pasta (or pasta of your choice!)
1 Finely diced medium onion
1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 T bacon bits (or real bacon or pancetta, if you prefer)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
black pepper and salt, to taste
Boil your pasta until it is al dente. Meanwhile, heat ~2T oil in a pan and toss in your onion, bacon bits, and garlic. allow these to fry for ~2 minutes then toss in your mushrooms. Allow everything to fry for another 2-3 minutes until your onions are clear and glossy with brown edges and everything is lovely and fragrant. When your pasta is done, drain it, reserving some of the pasta water. Add your pasta to the onion mixture, coating it in the oil and flavors. Then, mix together your eggs and parmesan cheese with a whisk. Turn the heat off of the saute pan and while everything is still hot, pour your egg/cheese mixture over the pasta. Quickly mix everything together, making sure that the eggs do not scramble, and season to taste with black pepper and salt. Use the leftover pasta water to thin the sauce slightly. Top with another few sprinkles of parmesan cheese, and you are good to go!
Let me tell you, this recipe really is a pleaser. We love it in our house! And the homemade pasta really kicks it up a notch. I was curious how much of a difference it would be to have homemade pasta versus the typical store-bought dried pasta, and all I can tell you is WOW. I am a convert. The texture is so silky, and the flavors are so much more bright than any store-bought pasta I have ever had. For anyone who has not made their own pasta or ventured to a restaurant that makes their own, I would highly encourage you to do so, pronto. =)
I know bacon bits are not what you typically see in carbonara, but when you don't keep much meat in your house, they make for a nice alternative for the salty, smoky flavor the pancetta typically imparts in this dish. As a note, I have made carbonara without the bacon flavors at all, and it still is delicious. However, it is worth noting that the bacon bits I used don't actually contain any meat (nor do many bacon bits--take a look at those labels to check which ones are real vs. fake!), so this is a good option for a Meatless Monday meal, or anyone who doesn't eat meat or is looking to cut back.
Let me know what you think! Anyone else have tips or tricks to amp up carbonara or give it a new twist? How about any groovy homemade pasta recipes to explore? I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time!