Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skillet Carbonara Casserole

I love Carbonara pasta, but it always feels heavy, and I get nervous about making eggs into a velvety smooth sauce. I always think I'll scramble them! I like the ease of this dish with all the flavor of carbonara pasta. We skipped the bacon because I didn't have any, and the boys who could eat this still quite liked it.

Skillet Carbonara Casserole
Cook's Country

8 slices bacon, chopped fine
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces we used whole wheat bread
1 1/4 c grated Pecorino Romano
salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
5 1/4 c water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c white wine
1 pound penne

Fry bacon in large nonstick skillet (I used my cast iron skillet) over medium high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off fat from pan, reserving 3 tablespoons (I used butter since I didn't have bacon).

Make topping: Pulse bread, 1/4 c cheese, 1/2 t pepper, 1/4 of cooked bacon and 2 T of reserved bacon fat in food processor until coarsely ground. Whisk eggs, milk, remaining cheese and 3/4 c water in medium bowl.

Simmer pasta: Heat remaining bacon fat in empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and 1 t pepper and cook until grafrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until reduced to 1/4 c, about 3 minutes.

Stir in remaining water, pene, and 3/4 t salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler.

Add sauce: Off heat, add egg mixture and remianing crisp bacon to pan and toss to combine. Top with bread-crumb mixture and broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

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