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.


Bianca said...

I must get some of those smoked sundried tomatoes. I always forget about Fresh Market.

Unknown said...

Sun dried tomatoes have grown on me and now I need them in certain pasta dishes. This one is a must try.

Beth said...

Just tried this out tonight-- it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I used some bulk (dry) sundried tomatoes that had gotten pushed waaay back on the shelf and forgotten for eons. I don't know if they were smoked or not--I soaked them in the cooking oil briefly to revive them and added them to the dish. So I guess they weren't rancid, because we're still here, and our tummies were happy to receive them by way of your carbonara. Thanks! Kris in Tacoma

Anonymous said...

This was a really good recipe. I would suggest adding garlic to the sauce next time and maybe some fresh peas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, my kids loved this recipe

Jenny said...

Thanks for the recipe, will be making this this weekend for a pre-marathon carboload!

Just a heads up - pecorino romano is not vegetarian, it must be made with lamb rennet paste derived exclusively from animals to be labeled as such. Other hard cheeses will substitute well, but look out for rennet (especially in parmigiano reggiano). Vegetarian versions are available but hard to find - if its made with "microbial enzyme" or "bacterial enzyme" in place of rennet you're safe!