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Pasta carbonara is one of those dishes that I think is really overrated, meaning you DO NOT have to spend an obscene amount of money on it at a restaurant! The ingredients are so simple and inexpensive and it really is easy to make.
After making some for dinner the other night I was inspired to make a version that my son can enjoy too. Pasta carbonara calls for pancetta (which I think can be quite difficult for baby to chew on once cooked), raw eggs and sometimes heavy cream. I thought of a version that I could still call "carbonara" yet make baby-friendly at the same time.
Here's what I came up with...I know my son enjoyed it so I hope your baby does too! (Note: my son likes his pasta so this yields only 2 servings for him! If your baby isn't such a fan try reducing the recipe by half as it's best not to freeze this one!)
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 slice of prosciutto (finely chopped or just torn into small pieces)
2 cooked egg yolks
1 Laughing Cow cheese (or 1-2oz of another soft cheese)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup spaghetti (or another small pasta such as orzo, macaroni, shells, etc.)
1/2 pasta cooking water
In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil. If using spaghetti, break off 1-2 inch pieces (no larger-remember they'll expand!) and add to the water. Cook according to package instructions.
*TIP: I usually cook my pasta 1-2 minutes under the recommended time so it stays "al dente" but in this case it's better to cook it for slightly longer so the pasta becomes very soft thus easier for baby to chew.
In the meantime, heat oil in a small saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add finely chopped onions and cook for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. (If the onions start to brown just turn down the heat to medium-low or low.)
Add the prosciutto and cook for 1-2 minutes or until it becomes slightly translucent.
*TIP: If the pasta is not ready take the onions and prosciutto off the heat otherwise they will continue to cook and possibly burn!
Drain the pasta...and don't forget to set aside 1/2 cup of the cooking water!)
Add pasta to the onions and prosciutto in the pan (now on on low heat) then add the egg yolks, cheese, and 1/4 cup of cooking water.
Stir for about 2 minutes or until everything is well amalgamated and the cheese has melted. If the pasta is too dry just add 1 tbsp. at a time of the cooking liquid to the pan and stir in well.
*TIP: Once removing off the heat remove the pasta immediately from the pan, otherwise it will continue to cook and become dry.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.