Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pasta Carbonara (GF/DF)

I improv'd this meal at 4 o'clock when faced with dinner time and no real plan and diminishing food stock in fridge.  I happened to have a half pound of Trader Joe's uncured, nitrate-free bacon ends & pieces from a while back that still smelled edible and a frozen brick of sustainably-raised ground beef as my base along with chopped kale that I had cooked for the morning's green smoothie.  I set the beef chub to defrost in a tub of water then pulled out my trusty America's Test Kitchen for the recipe instructions.  Pretty much only the ATK cookbooks (and the Asian ones) survived the GF/DF purge a few years back because they are hands down the best cookbooks ever.

I still had leftover raw macadamias in the pantry from when I made nut cheese for GF pizza and Faux Cheezy-cake. This recipe uses the faux cheese method that I discovered in The Dairy-Free & Gluten Free Kitchen.

Other ingredients that I sourced from TJ's besides the bacon: the pre-chopped organic kale, organic brown rice-quinoa pasta.  I abhor brown rice pasta, but the addition of quinoa makes it a lot more palatable.  TruRoots also makes a good brown rice-quinoa pasta that I've found at Costco.

Since the TJ's bacon is rather random pieces and a lot of fat, I added water as it was cooking to help render the fat without burning the bacon.  I started off with 1 cup of water, then as it evaporated added more water until the fat was more rendered into edible sized pieces, then I allowed it to brown on both sides.  This process left a lot to yummy bacon lard and a nice golden brown glaze on my All Clad skillet that I deglazed with balsamic vinegar since we didn't have any white wine on hand.

The timing on this matters.  The macadamia-egg mix should be tossed on to the hot pan (heat off) when you are ready to serve.  T & kid were on a walk visiting the neighboring mule & goats so I had to cover the pan at the third to last step and wait for them to get home.  I had the pan back on low heat with just the pasta, kale & beef, and when they got home, I tossed the macadamia nut mix on.

This is best served fresh.  This recipe serves 4-6.


  • 1/2 lb+ of uncured bacon
  • 1 lb of ground beef (anti-biotic free)
  • balsamic vinegar (in lieu of white wine)
  • grey sea salt (aka Celtic salt)
  • fresh ground organic grains of paradise (or black pepper)
  • 1/2 cup raw organic macadamias
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/2 tsp organic onion flakes or powder
  • 1/2 tsp organic minced garlic powder
  • 16 oz chopped cooked organic kale (steamed or boiled)
  • 1/2 package organic brown rice & quinoa pasta
  • optional organic chipotle powder

Soak the raw macadamias in enough water to cover.

Cook the kale by boiling or steaming it until cooked through for 10-15 minutes.

Make the pasta according to instructions.  Approx 8-10 minutes.  Drain and rinse with hot water.

Turn oven to 150 degrees and set your oven-proof serving bowl in the oven to warm.  Since I had a nice handmade Tunisian bowl that I was afraid of breaking, I left it at the lowest temperature setting and put the bowl in while the oven was still cold.  Once it heated to 150, I turned the oven off and led the door closed to retain heat.

Drain the macadamias of most of the water leaving around 1/4 cup of water.  Puree the macadamias with the eggs, garlic and onion and a spoonful of sea salt.

Fry the bacon in a skillet until browned.  Remove bacon and add ground beef, sea salt, pepper.  Brown it until cooked through.   Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar.  Cover with a lid and turn off the heat to retain the heat.

Add pasta and kale to the skillet.  Pour the macadamia mixture over and toss until well coated.  Cover with the lid.  

Using a towel or potholders, remove the bowl from the oven.  Pour the pasta into the bowl.  Top with crispy bacon and more pepper.  Toss and serve immediately.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

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