Saturday, March 03, 2012

Vegetarian Carbonara with Sundried Tomatoes

I found this recipe on The Chubby Vegetarian; the pork is replaced with smoked sundried tomatoes (or plain sundried tomatoes, in my case). I have to say that it tasted remarkably close to the original! This recipe called for mixing the eggs with milk before incorporating them in the pasta, but next time, I will omit the milk entirely, because the eggs never quite coagulated like I wanted them to (whereas I never have a problem when I use eggs, instead of eggs and milk, in my regular carbonara). I rewrote the recipe below to reflect that. Perhaps I would also be more generous with the cheese and mix some into the pasta. The Engineer said he felt the dish was missing some kind of fresh herb to round it out, but I feel that if I add herbs, it will no longer be a pasta carbonara – not to say it wouldn’t be good.

3 eggs
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup shallots, minced
a few sundried tomatoes (ideally smoked), minced
½ cup dry white wine
2 roma tomatoes, peeled (if you have the patience) and diced
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
A pinch of cane sugar
A dash of champagne vinegar
2 servings of dry spaghetti (or long pasta)
pecorino romano or parmesan, to taste

Place eggs in a bowl of warm water; this will raise the temperature of the eggs and is key to getting the creamy consistency associated with carbonara. Place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté shallots and sundried tomatoes in olive oil until shallots start to brown. Add the wine and reduce until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the romas, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to the pan and stir.

Break the eggs and mix them in a bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Place cooked pasta directly in the pan with the tomato mixture and immediately add egg mixture. Turn the heat off of the pan but keep it on the stove. Mix for a few minutes until sauce sticks to the noodles and is thick and creamy. Garnish with grated cheese; serve immediately.

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