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Easy Meals - Carbonara
You know the scenario well: you've arrived home late; you're cold, hungry and tired, and you want something hot and spicy to eat which doesn't require much time or effort.
Or perhaps you've opened the fridge and found it bereft of inspiration, and want something which is healthier and more imaginative than chips (French fries).
Here's one solution - carbonara.
The meal described below can be completed in the short time it takes to cook spaghetti. So that's about twenty minutes from opening your fridge door and mumbling, to sitting down to a great meal. Beat that if you can!
Quick, Easy, Healthy & Economical!
You will Need:-
- large pan
- frying pan or wok
- saucepan (optional, if you're cooking mushrooms separately)
- wooden spoons
- vegetable knife
- chopping board
- mushrooms (optional)
- bacon (or see Variations below)
- herbs to taste
- black pepper
- salt (optional)
- splash of olive oil
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How to Make Carbonara!
Put the spaghetti in a large pan and bring this to the boil. If you wish, you can add a tiny sprinkle of salt to the water. If your cooker is an electric one, speed things along by using boiling water from the kettle.
Into your frying pan or wok, add a splash of cooking oil. Olive oil is considered healthier than most other types. While this is getting hot, finely dice the bacon and then add it to the pan to brown. Make sure it's properly cooked.
While the bacon is cooking, dice the onions, mushrooms and peppers. (You can use just one pepper if you prefer, but the combination of differently coloured ones adds visual interest.) Add these to the pan, with herbs of your choice, a pinch of salt if you wish, and as much black pepper as you like. Give this a good stir every so often so it doesn't stick to the pan.
As soon as the spaghetti is cooked, quickly strain it. While it's still dripping in the colander, break three or four eggs into your frying pan and then drop the spaghetti on top of this. Stir this through until the egg is cooked, then serve and enjoy!
Try a similar meal using rice instead of spaghetti. Italian purists might protest, but there's no law against improvisation. And there's no need to stick to one kind of pasta, either. Just use whatever you have to hand.
Likewise, while the more traditional recipes might require the use of cured fatty pork, perhaps ordinary rashers of bacon are all your fridge offers. Or you could use diced chicken instead of pork.
If you have Italian cheeses, like parmesan, then add it to your version of carbonara. If not, again, use whichever kind you have in stock.
You can stir the cheese into the frying pan when you add the eggs and spaghetti, or grate it over food, perhaps with a generous sprinkle of black pepper.
As an alternative to using bacon try tofu, soya, Quorn, or diced vegetable sausages. Or you could use diced sweet potato.
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© 2009 Adele Cosgrove-Bray