Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Baked Carbonara

This is slightly adapted from the recipe in Donna Hay's "Off the Shelf". I tend to generally always have bacon, onion, eggs, cream, milk & Parmesan so this ends up being a "Oh no what's for dinner" meal. The original recipe doesn't call for onion or garlic, and I know all the carbonara purists will tell me that those ingredients aren't in a real carbonara, but carbonara isn't baked normally either so I hope the purists will forgive me. Its worth it I tell you.


4 eggs
2 cups of cream
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup grated paremsan (please don't use the plastic stuff unless you absolutely have to)
400 gms of cooked pasta (I sometimes use the 3 minute instant pasta if I'm in a rush)
1 brown onion of medium size diced
2 cloves garlic (or 1 heaped teaspoon of minced jar garlic)
4-6 rashers bacon (I'm talking long rashers, if you use half rashers then do 8-12)

Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
In a non stick frypan or skillet cook the bacon (I tend to cook them in whole pieces then cut with my cooking scissors as I find the bacon tastes better this way and cooks more evenly, but if you want to cook diced bacon go for your life... we all have our ways.) Then I remove the bacon and drain on paper towel.
Cook the onion in the bacon fat and set aside in a bowl. I then add the garlic raw to the hot onion as I prefer to cook the garlic very lightly and then it bakes in the oven for a more subtle flavour but if you wish to cook the onion and garlic together once again do as you wish.
In a 8 cup mixing jug (I use my tupperware mix n' pour) or bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk & cheese. Season to your liking.
I keep the pasta in the pot I used for mixing and add the bacon, onion & garlic, then fold in the eggy mix. Pour into a flat baking dish with at least 8-12 cup capacity. I once made this in an oval pyrex dish and found it cooked too unevenly and I was left with more scramble than carbonara. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
Now when you take it out, it will appear to be uncooked in some areas and overcooked in some, this is completely normal. I give the dish a good stir and it combines together nicely.
Now for all those watching their waistline this is not the dish for you. I'm sure you could cut corners using low fat milk/cream and 97% fat free bacon, but really this dish isn't for the light hearted. So if you're in the mood for some comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare and you aren't counting calories this is a dish for you. - Photo's to come.

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