Here it is. The post that only took nearly 6 months to write. Ha. Looking back at the blog, I can see where the posts slowed down during my pregnancy due to nausea and exhaustion, which led to the reduction in my cooking; that and the fact that all I really wanted to eat was hotdogs and potato chips. And when Norah was first born, cooking was the furthest thing from my mind; hell, I would have forgot to eat if our family and friends didn’t feed us – so the posts just stopped all together. But in the past few months, we’ve started to get a grip on being parents to Norah, and I have thought of numerous recipe ideas, and I’ve even cooked up a few things and snapped a few photos along the way. However, each day that passed without actually writing and posting something felt like it brought more and more pressure to write the most amazing recipe and post of my life. Then I finally gave my head a shake and realized no one else really cares that much, and I’m just doing that “mom” guilt thing where nothing seems good enough (why on Earth is this a thing? Seriously, after some parenting-related meltdowns, I am stunned by what I thought was a big deal mere moments ago…). Needless to say, this isn’t some thoroughly thought out recipe that took me several attempts to get just right so that you could eat the most perfect thing I’ve ever shared. No, this is a recipe for something that is quick, that basically uses pantry ingredients, and is comforting; which is exactly perfect for us at this point in our lives. Hopefully you like it too.
Oh. And one more thing: I am no longer eating strictly Gluten Free. As I had touched on in Life of George, when we were trying for a baby and having some challenges, I had gone to a naturopath to see if there was anything she could recommend (since the medical field here in Canada does not do any investigating unless a couple has 3 miscarriages or has had difficulty conceiving for 1 full year). When she suggested that I may have an intolerance for gluten and that I should refrain from consuming it for at least one full year (or until after we had a baby) I was fairly upset by the news at the time, but the end result was obviously worth it! The naturopath mentioned that 1 of 3 things could happen in that timeframe: 1) after giving birth, the hormone changes may also change the way my body processes gluten, and therefore I could potentially eat it again without any issues; 2) just giving up gluten for at least one year and allowing my body to “heal” from the damages it had done may mean I could eat it again without any pain; or 3) I will always have an intolerance for gluten (or potentially Celiac Disease) and would never be able to eat it again. Luckily, after Norah was born, I have found I’ve been able to eat gluten without any cramping, headaches, or lethargy (okay…maybe I can’t really tell if it’s making me lethargic because I’ve been exhausted most days regardless…). So, I realize that the blog has been gluten free for over a year now, and that a number of you have started to follow the site because you are also living gluten free, but potentially there will now be recipes showing up that contain gluten. However, most dishes we make are easily adapted to be gluten free (such as this one I’m sharing today – just swap in your favourite GF pasta), and I’m sure there will continue to be many dishes that don’t contain gluten; so hopefully this will still be a site you can enjoy. But, if a bunch of you decide to jump ship and stop reading, no hard feelings. I have enjoyed discovering how to eat and enjoy food without devouring all my gluten-filled favourites, and I thank you all for joining me. Now it’s time for me to tuck into some real pasta…
Adapted from Tyler’s Ultimate by Tyler Florence
Tyler’s recipe for Carbonara doesn’t include mushrooms, but I am a sucker for mushrooms and bacon combined in a pasta dish, so they inevitably get included in my creamy carbonara, even it’s a a tad untraditional. Tyler’s recipe also includes whole eggs, not just the yolks like I have decided to use. But I can not bring my self to consciously eat raw egg whites other than maybe a 7 minute meringue. I’m sure people have snuck them into some Caesar dressing I’ve eaten, but it’s more the slimy texture I am afraid of, not the potential health risks. Feel free to use whole eggs if you’re so inclined.
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper
2 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp half & half cream
1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 lb linguine (or any pasta of your choice; clearly gluten free if you want this to be GF)
Prepare a pot of boiling, salted water and cook linguine according to directions. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and onion, and cook until the onion has started to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper; continue cooking until mushrooms are soft and the bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispness (I like mine with a little bit of chew left in it), this will take another 5-6 minutes. While the bacon,onions, and mushrooms are cooking, place the egg yolks, cream and parmesan into a large serving bowl (one you’ll serve the past in) and whisk together. Pour the bacon, onion, and any cooking fat into the bowl with the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Add the reserved 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid and the cooked linguine to the bowl with the bacon and egg mixture. Toss everything together, then cover with a plate or pan for about 5 minutes until the pasta has set. Have a quick taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.