Simply Healthy Family: Chitarra alla Carbonara

30.6.10

Chitarra alla Carbonara


My husband and I went to this restaurant, PastaBar, in downtown Phoenix several months ago. I can't stop thinking about their food. I'm not a huge pasta fan, but this place was awesome! It was a place I never would have walked into given that it has a very modest exterior and is tucked away from the mainstream downtown businesses. Thankfully, my husbands boss Janie, whom I adore, lives downtown and knows good food! She had taken her group, including my husband to the PastaBar for lunch and my husband said I would love it. The man knows me. ;-)  I was imediately in love with the romantic, quaint setting inside. I am in love with unique, good quality appetizers. PastaBar's appetizer menu was right up my alley. Luckily,  I found myself there a little early during happy hour, half price appetizers. Yay me!  I  had fun ordering a few delicious appetizers like their version of salad caprese/bruschetta was to die for; Buffalo Mozzarella, basil pesto, heirloom tomatoes, anchovies served on toasted baguettes. I also had a plate of local grown, assorted olives. Oh, and of course a glass of wine. 




Their philosophy at the PataBar is to use quality ingredients from Local farmers and ranchers which I love! Heirloom tomatoes, a wide variety of eggs, local honey, micro greens and herbs, lamb, apples and cider just to name a few.  I love it!

So, as I was saying. I really liked the idea of the Chitarra alla Carbonara, which literally translates to
"Guitar Pasta", not sure why.  Anyway, it is a freshly made pasta with tempered eggs and usually prociutto or pancetta crumbled throughout the pasta.While this pasta was very good, it was also very, very rich. So, I decided to try making a healthier version. I am very excited to say that it turned out fabulous! I had them add asparagus to mine and did the same at home. I just have to have my veggies! I'll bet they're making it that way now. ;-)

The key I believe is to use quality, fresh ingredients. Especially when it comes to the cheese and wine. I would have loved to use organic, fresh brown eggs but alas, I can not afford to. Also, be sure not to overcook your pasta or asparagus!!! This dish is all about fresh, summery crisp goodness. Also, this is FANTASTIC the next day cold!!!

Bon Appetit!



SERVES  8-10     TIME  20 MINUTES
Ingredients:

1 pound semolina spagetti
1 pound thin asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces on an angle (discard the ends)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound Canadian bacon ( or Italian bacon such as prosciutto or pancetta)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine4 egg yolks, beaten ( save the egg whites for an omelet in the mrng)
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated in very thin strips





Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.Drain, reserving 1 & 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is boiling, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the bacon and asparagus and saute for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the wine and deglaze the pan by scraping the browned bits off the bottom with a flat spoon or spatula. Cook about 1 minute until wine is reduced slightly. Don't over cook!! Do this part quickly so as not to overcook the asparagus. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Add drained pasta, cheese, thyme and lemon juice. Gently toss to mix.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the still hot, reserved pasta cooking water with the beaten egg yolks to temper the eggs. Pour in the egg mixture and toss with two big spoons to thicken the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.


Serve with a glass of chilled white wine!   Bellisimo!








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5 comments:

  1. What a lovely date night. I also love eating at restaurants that utilize local food.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Gwen, I gave you the sunshine award! come by the blog to pick it up and see the blurp I wrote about you! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The pasta looks light, yet flavourful and delicious. I go get some chilled Soave! The restaurants that uses many imported ingredients usually charge the guests more..after all, the costs gotta to be covered. And I prefer the biz that supports the local farms.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The pasta looks light, yet flavourful and delicious. I go get some chilled Soave! The restaurants that uses many imported ingredients usually charge the guests more..after all, the costs gotta to be covered. And I prefer the biz that supports the local farms.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Gwen, I gave you the sunshine award! come by the blog to pick it up and see the blurp I wrote about you! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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