Spaghetti alla Carbonara

071 spaghetti carbonara

Nowadays, I find it hard to find spaghetti with carbonara sauce in the menu in an Italian restaurant. Carbonara sauce is one of my favorite pasta sauces! And, when I do find it in a restaurant, it is unlikely as good as I expect it to be. Maybe because it is made from raw eggs and people are afraid to consume it at a restaurant? I’m not sure. But, I sure do miss it from time to time.

So, since there were a lot of leftover ham from New Year dinner, I decided to make spaghetti carbonara sauce. I found this very good recipe online, and of course, being me, I had to modify it to my liking. Everybody loved it!! No leftover this time. Shucks!! ūüôā That’s ok, besides, carbonara sauce is not good if you heat it up because of the eggs in the sauce will be cooked and it would not only look weird but it will taste weird as well. So, serve the sauce immediately when it is still warm.

This recipe serves 8 people:

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lb of ham, chopped (I used smoked ham)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, put some salt in it if you like. Cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, add minced garlic and saute it until fragrant. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Then put in the chopped ham until slightly crisp. Saute for about 2 minutes then add wine if desired; cook one more minute.

Add cooked and drained spaghetti into the mixture. Toss to coat and heat through in a medium high heat, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Remove from heat. You don’t want the eggs to cook. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that ham and parmesan cheese are salty).

Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Enjoy! I hope you like it as I do!

Simple Crawfish Etoufee

It’s crawfish season, and I had about 2 lb of crawfish leftover from crawfish boil that we had earlier in the month. We didn’t know what to do with them, we froze the crawfish. The crawfish are boiled anyway.

Then, a friend of mine, had an idea to make etoufee out of the crawfish. ¬†I didn’t know what that was until I moved down to a Southwest state. Apparently, it looks like a stew.. it’s a seafood stew. People make the etoufee with shrimps or crawfish. This was my first time making etoufee.¬†So, I copied from 2 different recipes, and this what I got- Please pardon the mistakes, and modify them to suit your flavor.

I think this was pretty good, and I felt better eating it. I know I love it! But, whenever I go to a restaurant, I always feel guilty after eating it. It tastes so rich and yummy!

Serves 10

Boil the live crawfish in a big pot of orange juice with lots of crawfish boil, 2 big onions, and 2 big garlic bulbs, minced- reserve the broth
1/2 cup butter (8 tbp)
2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic)
1/4 cup and 2 tbps all purpose flour
2 pound crawfish tails
6 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
6 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or to taste
6 cups water or use the broth from the crawfish boil
Minced parsley (optional) for garnish

Peel the crawfish tails and side aside the tail meat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute until transparent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a minute. Stir in the flour until well blended. Gradually stir in the tomato sauce and water, then add the crawfish tails and bring to a simmer. Add the green onions and season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Add more seasoning to taste. Simmer for 5 to 15 minutes over low heat, until the flavors is soaked in. If needed, add more butter for taste.

See, why etoufee is so good? It’s all about the butter! I used Smart Balance margarine, so I don’t have to feel so guilty! LOL!

You can eat the etoufee over rice or with pasta, such of penne. Yummy!! Enjoy!

Clammy Pasta Sauce

Who doesn’t like a yummy and creamy white pasta sauce? Sometime you crave for one of those creamy sauces over pasta. Well, my husband was craving for one and I didn’t feel like going out to an Italian restaurant. I looked at my pantry and I had a can of minced clam… Perfect! I thought.

So, I went ahead and use the clam along with my left over whipping cream. Created this sauce from whatever I had leftover the holidays. Viola! Hubby said it was awesome and he instructed me to make it more often.

I have included two kind of recipes- for the white sauce and red sauce. ¬†Give it a try and hope you’ll like it as much as we do! You can use any kind of pasta you want, but we prefer linguini/ spaghetti.

For White Sauce:

Makes 4 servings

1 package of linguini/ spaghetti
2 cups of Light whipping cream
2 cups of milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6 oz.) cans minced clams with the juice
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 cup of sliced mushroom of any kind (optional)- I used canned button mushroom

Cook linguine/ spaghetti according to package directions, drain well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Cook onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour, oregano, salt and pepper. Add cream and milk all at once then pour in the canned minced clam and the juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in mushroom for one minute more then put in parmesan cheese, parsley, and wine. Heat through. Serve sauce over linguine/ spaghetti.

For Red Clam Sauce:

Prepare as above, cream or milk and flour. Stir one 15 oz cans tomato sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, and wine into cooked onion and garlic. Heat through. Serve sauce over linguine. Done!