Monday, June 27, 2011

Vegetarian Carbonara with Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is not just another pasta. This vegetarian-ized version of the classic Italian dish is truly no compromise. The smoked sun-dried tomatoes -- I found some recently at The Fresh Market for about $4 a pouch -- add an amazing savory quality to this rich dish. It's great because most of the ingredients used to make it are usually in your fridge and pantry already.

If done right, the eggs in this dish should be creamy and coat the warm pasta. Worst case scenario, you'll have scrambled eggs and pasta, which is still pretty delicious. Fear not! Just follow these easy instructions, and you're very likely to get it right.

Vegetarian Carbonara with Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes

3 eggs
1/4 cup cream or whole milk (in a small glass)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup shallots (minced)
2 smoked sun-dried tomatoes (minced)
1/2 cup white wine
2 roma tomatoes (peeled, diced)
sea salt and cracked black pepper
a pinch of cane sugar
a dash of champagne vinegar
2 servings of dry spaghetti
pecorino romano cheese 

Place eggs and glass of milk in a bowl of hot water; this will raise the temperature of both and is key to getting the creamy consistency associated with carbonara. Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. 

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté shallots and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil until shallots start to just brown. Add the wine and reduce until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the romas, salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar to the pan and stir. 

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and cream together. Set mixture aside for just a few minutes; it's about to be added to the pasta.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Place cooked pasta directly into the pan with the tomato mixture, and immediately add the egg mixture. Turn the heat off of the pan but keep it on the stove. Mix for about 4 minutes until sauce sticks to the noodles and is thick and creamy. Garnish with grated pecorino romano. Serve immediately.