Quick Pasta Adaptations

There are a couple of pasta recipes I use over and over. They’re great for using up some of the core CSA ingredients – onions, garlic (there is nothing better than CSA garlic), tomatoes, and spinach or other greens. I adapt a lot of recipes from CookingLight.com. Interestingly, a core component of these recipes is bacon or bacon-like products. Light cooking with bacon? What could be better!

Fresh Tortellini with Mushrooms and Pancetta
This is a great, fast recipe. I make several modifications. First, I’ll often use bacon instead of pancetta, simply because I have it on hand and I don’t want to deal with the deli counter at the grocery store to get pancetta. Either works just fine. Second, I don’t totally drain the bacon grease, I leave a little in and slightly brown the onions before throwing in the other ingredients. I usually skip the sun-dried tomatoes because I’m not really a fan. Although slow roasted cherry tomatoes are full of awesome and would be great. You can sub in chard or any other soft green for the spinach – whatever you have. Kale would work too, you’d just need to cook it longer. I use frozen tortellini from Central Market. They have several different fillings – I really like the arugula and cheese one. Finally, I use finely grated pecorino romano (available in bags at CM – I keep it on hand at all times) and I add it at the end of the cooking so it melds into the sauce.

Pasta Carbonara Florentine
Carbonara sauce is an egg yolk and sometimes cream based sauce, traditionally. Cooking Light uses less of the heavy stuff, but the recipe is still rich and filling. Again, you can sub any green you like for the spinach. Again, bacon! I love me some bacon. The only other change I make regularly is to throw in two whole eggs instead of one whole and one white. The eggs we get from the CSA are so dang good I just can’t stand to waste a yolk. I made it last time with whole wheat linguine and it was really good.

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