Jen’s awesome pasta carbonara


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Last night I wanted to use the mushrooms in my fridge to cook a great dinner. The dish originally was going to head a mediteranean style, but as I cooked I switched things around and it became this Bacon Parmesan Pasta Carbonara thing…and it was awesome!! Below is the “recipe”, but I didn’t measure anything so I’m going to be guessing at that. Tip for success, taste as you go!!

Jen’s Bacon Parmesan Pasta Carbonara

-1 pkg spaghetti (or other pasta)

-2 Tbsp butter

-Olive oil

-1 bottle parmesan cheese (not the tiny bottle, the large one, or use fresh too)

-1 cup mozzarella (or other meltable italian cheese blend)

-1 small carton mushrooms (about 2 cups)

-2 Tbsp mince garlic

-1 package real bacon bits (or cook up your own)

-3 roma tomatoes, diced (*optl: I soaked mine in some zesty italian dressing while I cooked, then rinsed and drained them so they weren’t too strong, but this is not necessary) -1 cup whole milk -1/2 cup half and half (I used both milks to keep it lighter. Not wanting a heavy sauce.)

-Large handful fresh basil, coursely chopped (keep a few sprigs aside for garnish)

-Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, italian seasoning (no salt kind)

DIRECTIONS:

1. First I snapped the spaghetti noodles in half and put them to boil once water was rolling.

2. Dice tomatoes and marinate in dressing if you’re doing that. Otherwise, just dice and set aside.

3. Chop basil coursely. Set aside.

4. Put butter in a large skillet and put over med-high heat. Heat until butter is hot and dump in chopped mushrooms, minced garlic, and sautee for a few minutes. Add in bacon bits. (I prob had about 1/3 to 1/4 cup I used). Let it saute a bit to get the flavor out of the bacon.

5. Add in the creams and let it get simmering. Stir every few minutes to blend flavors and to keep it from burning. Season to taste with: salt, pepper, onion powder and some italian seasoning.

6. Add parmesan cheese to the sauce. This will help it thicken a bit. I added prob 1/3 cup. You want it to have a distinct bacon and parmesan flavor. Let it simmer on low while you prep the pasta.

7. When pasta is al dente (flexible but no mush please!) Drain it, put it back in pot and add olive oil to slick the noodles so they don’t stick.

8. Season pasta with salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian spices (lightly) and parmesan cheese (another 1/3 cup or so, add more if desired). This makes a yummy noodle base that the kids might really enjoy by itself!

9. Transfer the pasta to a casserole dish and stir in the cream sauce. It should be a coating for the noodles but not have much for pooling in the bottom of the pan. Then stir in most of your tomatoes, keeping some aside for garnish (drained and rinsed if you marinated, you don’t want them too strong and you don’t want the dressing to throw off the flavor of your sauce).

10. Do the same with your chopped basil, mixing it all in.

11. Top the dish with a little bit more parmesan cheese (lightly) and cover with the italian blend cheeses. Put in the preheated oven (400 degrees) for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is browned. Remove from oven carefully, garnish w/ tomatoes and basil when served. Accompany this dish with garlic bread and salad or some other green. Enjoy!!

(sorry the pictures are slightly blurry, they looked clear on my phone.)

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