Posted by: Anja | October 5, 2010

Vegetarian Carbonara with a Twist

I’ve noticed that I have been eating really unhealthy during the last weeks, so I decided to change that this weekend. My first step: I went to Farmers market and bought a lot of vegetables, cheese and other healthy stuff and NOT only sweet things. Okay, i bought some like chocolate chips, who can live without chocolate chips?!, and jam, but I don’t really count that as I’ll be really responsible in using these. Promise!

The second step was then to figure out what I was going to do with the stuff that I’ve bought. Yeah, you would normally do that before actually buying the stuff and I tried to do that, but at Farmers market I noticed that they didn’t have much of what I actually wanted so I had to switch tactics. Well, I came up with a good plan for cooking and baking in the next two weeks and hopefully I’ll stick to it. The first recipe I made from my backlog is a vegetarian carbonara pasta dish. Carbonara sauce normally consists of bacon, eggs, pepper and parmesan. The trick is that the sauce is not prepared beforehand in a pan and then added to the pasta, but all ingredients are mixed together and then added to the pasta raw. The heat of the pasta then cooks the egg in the sauce, which makes the sauce stick. Vegetarian carbonara basically works the same way, but without the bacon. Also when I made the dish I was in the mood for cheese, so in addition to the traditional ingredients, I added mozzarella (yeah, I’m currently really into mozzarella) to give the dish a cheese twist. I really liked it!

Vegetarian Carbonara
idea adapted from Everybody Eats Sandwiches

200g whole wheat pasta
1 egg
1/4 cup of parmesan
black pepper
salt
1 cup of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon of milk
2 tablespoon of butter
50g mozzarella (optional)

First step: Heat water in a large pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Salt it, then add the whole wheat pasta and let it cook until it’s nearly done and 3 minutes are left.

Second step: Cut the florets off the broccoli and prepare them as mouth-sized bites in the meantime. If using, cut the mozzarella into small cubes. Grate the parmesan if you’re not using already grated parmesan. It should be enough to fit in 1/4 of a normal coffee cup. The coffee cup size is also the measurement for the amount of broccoli florets that you need for this recipe. I don’t really use exact gram measurements for stuff like that, I mostly go with my gut feeling which makes it kind of hard to describe exactly how much I’ve used.

Third step: Crack the egg in a small bowl, add the milk and parmesan and use a fork to combine everything. When your pasta is nearly done, add the broccoli florets to the pot. Let it cook until through, then drain the pasta and broccoli.

Fourth step: In the pot that you’ve just used, melt the butter. It should be hot enough to do that off-heat. Add the pasta and broccoli and use a spoon or another kitchen tool to combine everything. Pour the egg mixture on top, stirring to integrate everything. Keep on stirring for 1-2 minutes until you notice that the sauce stocks. Add the mozzarella if using and stir another minute. Pepper and salt to taste and serve immediately.

This recipe makes enough for one person. Actually, the original recipe was for multiple persons, but they used only one egg, which I think is not good. If you increase the amount of pasta you’re using, increase the number of eggs (and of course of parmesan, broccoli and milk) as well, else the taste of the carbonara sauce will be lost because of too much pasta.

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