Pasta ‘Ham Carbonara’ with Beet Salad

Saturday Night Meal: Homemade Pasta with a Ham instead of Bacon Carbonara Sauce with Peas served over sauted greens with a green salad with radish and beets.

Homemade pasta is a love of ours.  It is tastier than store bought, the texture is divine, and it is just fun and easy to make.

Pasta dough ingredients

Homemade Whole Wheat/Semolina Pasta: (makes 4 servings)

  • 3/4 cup of semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or just a total of  1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour if you don’t have semolina)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients, mix well to form a dough.
  2. Add extra flour to make it a smooth not sticky dough.  (I’ve been finding with the flour from Upinngil that I always need to add more flour to make a dough recently- it seems like it is so unrefined and has so much bran- which of course I love!)
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  I usually do it in the bowl.  Really put some arm strength in there- you want to push it hard.
  4. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, covered.  I’ve found you can let it sit fo5 only 5 minutes or put it in the fridge all day long.
  5. Divide dough in two pieces, each to be flattened and made into noodles.
  6. If you have a pasta maker- you probably know what to do from here.  For our hand cranked Imperia Pasta Maker (which is excellent by the way) we smoosh the dough down, cover it with flour and flatten it first through the ravioli roller, then run it through the fettucine or spaghetti cutters.  For those without- roll the dough to 1/4-1/8 in thickness on a well floured surface, and cut however you’d like.  We used to experiment with fun shapes (wide noodles, triangles, squares, or ‘ugly’ whatever goes pasta).

    Dough flattening.

    Very cute spaghetti

  7. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook for 2-5 minutes until done.  Rinse in cool water and serve with whatever sauce you’d like.

Boiling pasta

We tend to make Pasta Carbonara for a nice and special rich meal.  It goes well on store bought pasta as well. It’s not a true carbonara sauce, but pretty close and very good.

‘Ham’ Carbonara: (makes 4 servings)

  • 10 oz. cooked ham
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup fresh peas

Directions:

  1. Carefully warm milk in a saucepan until steaming.
  2. Heat butter in large saucepan.  Add chopped ham and cook until browned.
  3. Carefully add the warm milk to the ham and butter. Add fresh peas.  Bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Add the vinegar, stirring briskly to make a soft cheese.  Return to a gentle simmer to melt the new cheese a bit and cook the peas.
  5. Beat egg and Parmesan cheese together in a separate bowl.
  6. Slowly beat egg mixture into the milk/ham.
  7. Cook on low heat until thick. Careful not to cook it too much, as the egg will start to curdle and make a funky chunky sauce (it will still taste pretty good).
  8. Add fresh pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Serve over pasta.

We sautéed some greens and put the pasta then sauce over top.

Not so easy on the eyes, but oh so good.

We steamed the chioggia beets and chopped up raw radishes and served over lettuce with a lemon based dressing.

Chioggia beets are really neat- red and white bullseye colored.

[Theresa’s Note:  We usually make Pasta Carbonara with bacon, but I was really craving it, and we were out.  Hence, the ham!  I found that I needed to add a little more salt to make up for the lack of bacon, but it was fabulous.  These kinds of risks and substitutions are vital for us, as we can’t go out to the grocery store and pick up a pack of bacon (or ice cream).  We encourage you to do the same: beet greens for chard, turkey breast for veal, maple syrup for honey, etc.  We’ll do this a lot, and make notes as we go.  The Chioggia beets are even more beautiful raw, and they don’t stain your chopping board, counter and hands.  Look for them at your local farmer’s market.  Boston Localvores has a great new calendar of markets in the area.]

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