By Lori Ross for Cooking Challenge One - Hot Vegetarian Pastas from Kathy Dismukes, Alexandria, VA.
Authentic carbonara never uses cream but always uses bacon. I have successfully made this dish without bacon many times, so while not authentic, it is delicious (more eggy and cheesy than smoky). The key to this dish is to keep tossing cooked pasta with egg and cheese mixture until it creates a creamy sauce (without cream)! Lovely with steamed shrimp added.
1 lb pasta
1 cups freshly grated Parmesan
10 ounce bag fresh baby spinach (or more if you love spinach)
Freshly ground Black Pepper and salt to taste
Mix cheese, eggs, and toss until thoroughly mixed, then place in your pasta serving bowl and put aside. Open bag of spinach and place in colander. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it in the colander right on top of the fresh spinach (this quickly wilts the spinach). Immediately toss the pasta and spinach into the serving bowl with egg mixture and start tossing. Toss at least 12 times to ensure the hot pasta cooks the egg mixture evenly. Each strand of pasta should be lightly coated and little liquid should remain at the bottom of bowl. If the pasta seems too dry, add a little water (a couple tablespoons at a time) and keep tossing. If the pasta seems a little wet, add a little more cheese. Serve immediately adding salt and pepper to taste.
If you have leftovers, they heat up beautifully in the microwave (just add a little water if too thick). Never toss pasta and raw eggs over heat or in hot pan because the eggs with curdle and the dish will look like scrambled eggs with pasta.