What’s your favorite pasta dish? I know, I know… that’s a difficult question right? There’s so many that are good! I could never pick one, but this recipe is definitely one of my favorites. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s easy to make as well!
This is a vegetarian dish, but could easily be made a more carnivorous meal by adding some sliced sauteed chicken breasts.
Can I tell you a little story? I’m so glad that this meal came together without incident… because the meal before this one…. ohhhhh man. We were having burgers, and in a stroke of genius I thought, “hey, I’ll do a Smashburger copycat!“. Do you guys have Smashburger where you are? It. Is. So. Good! Basically it’s exactly what it sounds like, a smashed burger. You want a crispy, caramelized crust. Here’s a great description and tutorial from Serious Eats!
Okay, so here’s the situation. It was cold out, so I figured I’d use my cast iron griddle/grill pan…. all good so far right? Wrong. I guess the last time I used the grill side, there was some excess grease that didn’t get all the way cleaned off. So when I laid that side down over two gas burners on high… yeahhhhhh there was a grease fire underneath my pan. Smoke filled the house, smoke detectors went off…. cooking FAIL! A bit embarrassing to say the least lol. I mean, I’m supposed to be good at this you guys, not set off the smoke detectors (facepalm).
Oh well, all in all, at least the burgers were good 😉 So I was soooooo ready for a nice, easy, smoke-less meal!
This recipe uses my favorite method for cooking vegetables, roasting! While it does take about 30 minutes, it’s SO worth the flavor. Plus, you can start bringing your pasta water up to a boil while the veggies are in the oven.
The rest of the pasta dish comes together quickly, as it’s a carbonara pasta. Saute some pancetta (or bacon, for a smokier flavor) in a large skillet, until it’s crispy. Drain off most of the grease and remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon. Add your garlic and shallots and saute about a minute or so. Turn off the heat.
While your pancetta was cooking, you’ll want to have already mixed up your sauce (cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper and parsley) ahead of time, and drained your cooked pasta, but be sure to reserve about a cup or so of the cooking water!
Temper your sauce by adding a splash of the pasta water and stirring it. This ensures that when you add your egg sauce to the warm pan, the eggs don’t scramble. Pour your tempered sauce into the pan, add in your roasted veggies, sauteed pancetta, and cooked pasta. Stir it all together, adding some pasta water as needed to get a creamy texture.
Like I mentioned earlier, you could add some chicken to this if you’d like. Just saute some chicken breasts or tenders in the reserved pancetta grease, slice, and add in with the rest of the sauce. You could also use some leftover chicken, like maybe from some chicken caprese!
I know you’ll love this dish… the flavor of the roasted cauliflower and mushrooms is just incredible! It elevates a normal pasta dish to gourmet levels 🙂
I found this recipe over at Closet Cooking, there’s a lot of wonderful recipes on Kevin’s site.
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Serves: 4 servings
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 8 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz fettuccine, linguine (or any pasta you'd like)
- 4 oz pancetta, diced (or bacon)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Add the cauliflower and quartered mushrooms to a mixing bowl, drizzle in the oil, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread out onto the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.
- Cook the pancetta in a large skillet, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and pour off most of the grease.
- While the pancetta is cooking, in a mixing bowl, add the cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Drain the pasta, be sure to reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Temper your egg sauce by adding a splash of the pasta cooking water and stirring. Then add the sauce, roasted cauliflower and mushrooms, pancetta and drained pasta to the skillet.
- Toss to combine, stirring in some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed, until creamy in texture.
- Serve with a Caesar salad or crusty artisan bread if desired.
** This recipe is easily doubled if you'd like more than a 1/2 lb of pasta
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