Friday, January 18, 2013

Quick Pasta Carbonara

Anyone who knows me that I love just about anything that includes pasta. Half....actually, probably 3/4 of my meals in college were from the pasta bar. Some of this had to do with the lack of other edible options offered by the cafeteria. Some of it also had to do with the fact that each portion of pasta was made right in front of you, which is perhaps the other reason why is was SOOOO good. But no matter what, I love pasta, and I love making it for dinner. The dish I'm going to share with you is not something new that I've tried. I found this recipe within the last year, I believe, and it's something both Scott and I really like. (I LOVE it, but I don't want to put words in his mouth!) Since I mentioned SU's pasta bar, this is similar to one of my favorite pasta dishes that I used to get in college. I don't remember what THEY called it, but it involved some of the same ingredients. This dish is easy and delicious, and by it's name, you will see that it doesn't take long to make!
Quick Pasta Carbonara
This recipe comes from a recipe book given out at Sam's Club put together by Kraft. It features brand-name items that one could purchase at Sam's Club, but really feel free to use whatever brands you fact, I won't even tell you what brands it says! (I don't use all brand-names, so why should you?? ;)).

1/2 lb. medium-size pasta*
4 slices bacon, chopped
4 oz. (1/2 8-oz. pkg) cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen or canned peas**
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
*I like bow-tie pasta. This pasta really makes me think of the dish they used to serve at my college. Plus, it's just fun!
**Having made this a few times, I have tried both canned and frozen peas. In my opinion, frozen peas kick canned peas rear-ends. In fact, using canned peas is almost down right nasty, but again, that's just MY opinion....
1. Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to paper towels, reserving 2 Tablespoons of drippings in skillet. I am not particularly picky with making sure I have exactly 2 Tbsp. Just use your best judgement.
2. Add remaining ingredients to drippings; cook on low heat until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended and heated through.
3. Drain pasta; place in large bowl. I put it back in the pot that I used to boil it. Add cream cheese sauce and bacon. Mix lightly.
See? I told you it was quick and easy. I made garlic bread tonight. I buy whatever is on sale or what they have in the store. I always use the kind that cooks in 5-7 minutes. :) One other suggestion. Tonight, I doubled the cream cheese, milk, parmesean, and garlic powder to make more sauce. Scott & I are sauce people, and while he liked the dish as it is, he seemed to prefer it tonight with more sauce. I also added slightly more than 1 cup of peas. It was more like 1.5 cups. AND I used 5 slices of bacon tonight. Really, it's up to you. If you're sauce people, double it. If you prefer a sauce that simply coats the pasta without excess, make as is. Ultimately, have fun!


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