June 14, 2009

Pasta Carbonara Tartlets

What to bring to a baby shower potluck brunch with a vegetarian mom-to-be among the meat eating crowd?

Spaghettini Carbonara Tartlets

Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine provided an answer a couple of months back with the recipe for Spaghettini Carbonara Tartlets.

The original recipe of 1/2 lb. spaghettini (aka "Thin Spaghetti") makes about 24 tartlets. I cooked up the whole pound to double the amount. Being generous with the pasta in each cup, I made 42 tartlets.

I split half of the pasta to follow the recipe (Pancetta Tartlets) and the other half for my own vegetarian adaptation (Green Peas Tartlets).

However, I did make one double-batch of the egg mixture to save on using more bowls.

First, I very lightly salted the egg mixture for the Pancetta tartlets first. With all the pancetta, these guys really didn't need much salt. Once finished with them, I add another extra pinch of salt into the egg mixture so now we'll have the right seasoning for the Green Peas version. Easy, eh?

I also put almost a cup of parmesan in with the noodles and just topped each tartlet with a pinch more.

Pancetta Tartlets

Spaghettini Carbonara Tartlets

The original recipe is made with cube pancetta. If your local market is anything like mine, I only found thinly sliced pancetta. It actually worked better for me as the thin ones cooked up super crispy, like super fine bacon. I bought 2 packs of those, rolled them up, sliced them and halved those slices, and into the pan with a little drizzle of olive oil.

And I am sure you can use your choice of bacon instead of pancetta and it'll do wonderfully as well.

Green Peas Tartlets

Spaghettini Carbonara Tartlets

Instead of the hot pancetta grease to toss with the pasta, I just heated up a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pan with a few flakes of red chilli and used that. I heated up about 1/3 of a bag of frozen green peas in the microwave, just so it's warmed through, not cooked until mushy. And I topped the tartlets with the peas instead of the pancetta.

Final results? BEAUTIFUL little nests of yummy goodness to take to a 16-people potluck brunch!

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