A different take on the classic

Carbonara. Just the name sounds scrumptious. I mean the first syllable is “carb”! It’s rich and comforting and it includes pork fat. Pasta Carbonara is so easy to make and is very adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge. The only necessities are eggs, a hard aged cheese, pasta, and some pork belly (bacon, pancetta, etc).

Then your refrigerator is your inspiration. You could add in any sauted veggies – peas, zucchini, eggplant, any alliums (onions, leeks, shallots, etc). What combinations do you like together? Try them out in this rich and creamy pasta dish.

This take on carbonara embraces the approaching Fall weather by incorporating leeks and mushrooms into the recipe. Seriously, this is so good. You’ve gotta try it.

I found the recipe at How Sweet It Is 

I didn’t have any portabello mushrooms but I did have crimini. That was really the only adaptation. Enjoy!

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Lidia’s Comfort Potatoes

Do you ever find yourself with nothing to watch on the DVR so you have to watch LIVE TV. Oh the commercials are just so irritating. Why do they have to be so loud? That’s why I love KQED or any local public stations. I get to escape the commercials and watch Lidia’s Italy. I love that show. It’s so relaxing and inspiring. Watching the show the other day inspired this version of her comfort potatoes. Seriously, bacon and potatoes, marinated artichoke hearts and green beans all fried to deliciousness? How couldn’t I resist?

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Lidia Inspired Comfort Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 4 or 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 or 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 handfuls of green beans cut into 3″ lengths
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • marinated artichoke hearts (I picked some up from the New Leaf deli section and used what amounted to 3 whole hearts cut into 8 segments)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Put the potatoes (whole) into cold water and boil until tender (a fork can easily pierce through it). Pull out the potatoes and slice them into 1/4″ rounds. I pulled some of the skin off. Using the same water, drop the green beans in for a couple minutes but not too long. Remove from water and set aside.

In a separate pan, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Cook the onion in the bacon fat until tender. Add the potatoes and some salt. Let them cook over med/high heat so they get a bit browned. Add back in the bacon, green beans and artichoke hearts. Cover and cook for a couple minutes so everything can get to know each other. Flip over the mixture and cover for another 2 to 3 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve with a grilled pork chop and enjoy!