Pasta Carbonara

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Happy belated Valentine’s Day! I know…I’m a couple days late, but it just went by too quickly!

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to make my family dinner. I’m not a cook, so this decision was quite ambitious for me. The last time I made my family dinner…well, let’s just say it didn’t go as planned.

This time, I was determined to make it work. After reading the recipe countless times, and double checking that I was following it word for word…I ended up pulling it off!

It was so rewarding to serve my family something that I was proud of, especially on a day that’s made for showing appreciation and love.

If you’re family likes pasta, and you’re an armature cooker, but want to look like a pro, then you should try making this dish. It’s delicious!

If I can do it, you can do it!

-Pasta Carbonara-

Creds to Simply Recipes + added a few of my own tips and tweaks:)

What You Will Need

~1 Tbsp olive oil or unsalted butter

~1/2 pound pancetta or thick cut bacon, diced or white mushrooms, sliced

~1-2 garlic cloves, minced, about 1 teaspoon (optional)

~2-4  whole eggs *

~1 cup finely grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

~1 pound spaghetti pasta (or bucatini or fettuccine)

~Salt and black pepper to taste

*amount of eggs depends on how creamy you would like your pasta-I used two eggs and  found that it made the pasta perfectly creamy and light

Directions

1 Heat pasta water: Put a large pot of salted water on to boil (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water.)

2 Beat eggs and half of the cheese: In a small bowl, beat the eggs and mix in about half of the cheese.

3 Sauté pancetta/bacon/mushrooms and garlic: While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook slowly until crispy. Add the garlic (if using) and cook another minute, then turn off the heat and put the pancetta and garlic into a large bowl.

4 Cook pasta: Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the dry pasta, and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil.

5 Toss pasta with pancetta/bacon/mushroom: When the pasta is al dente (still a little firm, not mushy), use tongs to move it to the bowl with the bacon and garlic. Let it be dripping wet. Reserve some of the pasta water.

Move the pasta from the pot to the bowl quickly, as you want the pasta to be hot. It’s the heat of the pasta that will heat the eggs sufficiently to create a creamy sauce. Toss everything to combine, allowing the pasta to cool just enough so that it doesn’t make the eggs curdle when you mix them in. (That’s the tricky part-my tip is to toss the pasta around for about a minute or so, and once the surface is not burning hot to touch, immediately add the egg-cheese mixture).

6 Add the beaten egg mixture: Add the beaten eggs with cheese and toss quickly to combine once more. Add salt to taste. Add some pasta water back to the pasta to keep it from drying out.

Serve at once with the rest of the parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

If you want, sprinkle with a little fresh chopped parsley 

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Mini Apple Pies

There’s nothing better than warm apple pie on a rainy fall day… or really any day! My mom and I love to make apple pie, but specifically: mini apple pies. They’re basically just fun sized, and made from using cupcake pans. It’s super simple to do, and it’s really convenient for packing in lunches. My mom and I use a few different recipes for whenever we’re craving this treat…

The Filling

This filling recipe is where we actually got the idea of making mini apple pies. If you use this recipe, you’ll be in very good hands. It accounts for the perfect ratio of apples to spice, making a great filling. It doesn’t include a dough recipe, and that’s why I included my favorite one below.

The Dough

This dough is literally the best dough I have ever had. It has the perfect texture; soft on the inside but flaky on the outside. This is my go-to for every recipe that requires pastry dough. It’s simple, but most importantly, one taste and you’re on cloud 9.

The Crumble

The crumble is totally an optional part of this treat, but I think it adds a nice sugary crunch (and I absolutely love this crisp recipe)! Another idea would be to top the pies with a thin layer of dough(and slice a few holes on the top to aerate the pies)…or if you want to get really fancy, then you can make a lattice!

*BAKE FOR 30 min. at 350 degrees F.

And don’t forget to serve it with vanilla ice cream🍦