Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

This is such a quick and easy dish to prepare and oh so good. A big favorite of my husbands.
In a large bowl, beat together 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 1 box of Barilla Plus spaghetti until al den, adding 1 bunch bunch of asparagus that has been halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, the last few minutes of cooking. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the hot pasta to the egg mixture; toss to coat.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add 5 slices of bacon that have been coarsely chopped, and cook until crisp. Stir in the garlic. add 1/4 cup dry white wine (I like to use VJB Chardonnay and cook until slightly reduced. About 1 minute. Stir the bacon mixture in the spaghetti, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten; season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

This dish is quick and easy to prepare, but it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen.
Put the zest of one lemon in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and let stand.
Boil 1 box of Barilla Plus spaghetti in boiling salted water. When draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. add 4 or more minced large garlic cloves, and cook for a minute or two. add 1 pound of frozen large shrimp, and cook until pink. Perhaps 5 minutes or so. Add the cooked spaghetti, 1/4 cup lemon juice, the zest of 1 lemon, kosher salt to taste, and at least 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Toss to combine. Use a wire mesh sieve, and strain the lemon zest out of the reserved olive oil. You should have about 1.4 cup when you do. add the oil to the pasta. Add some (or all depending) of the reserved pasta cooking liquid so the pasta isn't dry. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh minced thyme and parsley. (About 2/3 parsley, 1/2 thyme). Serve immediately.
This would also be delicious with spinach or arugla added at the end to wilt.
Buon appetitto!