What’s cooking at our house . . . Rachel Ray’s Pasta Carbonara ;-)

  While my wonderful husband drops the oldest boys off at a friend’s party, I’m cooking up this recipe I’ve been wanting to try ever since I saw it.  It’s Rachel Ray’s husband’s favorite, LOL–Pasta Carbonara.  And it’s supposed to be ready in about 15 minutes, which is always a bonus for our busy schedules!  Here’s the recipe, in case you’re anything like me and reading about food makes you want to try it!

Carbonara

Ingredients:

·  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

·  1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni

·  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)

·  1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped

·  1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

·  5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

·  1/2 cup dry white wine

·  2 large egg yolks

·  Freshly grated Romano cheese

·  Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

1. Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.

3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.

4. Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

Yumm!  She says this recipe is supposed to make enough for 6, but if she and her husband are home alone, they’ve been known to eat it all themselves.   

I’m reading The Scarlet Letter again so my sons and I can discuss it.  Poor Bo is still scarred from reading it last year at PEP with way too many accompanying assignments (most of which were left til the last possible moment for completion) so I can’t get him to touch the thing. I myself loved it when I read it in high school, and neither of them can fathom why! But at least he has the background so we can talk about it, which is the great key to education in my book!  I *have* to get in here sometime and post some quotes from my new favorite book, A Thomas Jefferson Education.  It’s really great and a wonderful book for forming your vision for homeschooling–GOOD homeschooling.  One of the author’s major points is that there are 2 keys to a great education:  a) a mentor and b) reading the classics.  He actually lists the classics before the mentor!  Giving our kids wonderful, timeless books to read, reading along, and then discussing them *with* the students is the best chance our kids have at a true education.  Looking into what an insightful author has written about a character’s background and life choices, why they made those choices, and the results of those choices on the character and those around him/her can (should) be life-changing!  When we read a great classic we are moved by it, either to become more like the hero/heroine, or less like characters portrayed in a more dim light.  The more well-written the book, the more powerful it is to change us. 

It’s been fascinating to study this book in light of their other reading (props to Sonlight, once again!) which is Institutes of Biblical Law as well as Basic American History.  We’re having lots of discussion on whether Jesus *fulfilled* the Law or *nullified* it, whether the Puritans were managing their colonies well by running them according to a strict interpretation of that Law, and what The Scarlet Letter has to teach us about the fruit of a society ruled by fear of the Law.  Great study for anyone interested in Restoration Theology/Dominionism, by the way!  It’s been interesting afternoon conversation.  Today we decided that the reactions of the women who watched Hester’s embarrassment and subsequent banishment–their enjoyment of both those things, and their wish that the sentence had been greater, even to the extreme of a death sentence for her adultery–was just as ugly as the sin that provoked their reaction.  Of course Christ fulfilled the Law by being the only One who could actually follow it, not nullifying it but rather taking it a step farther even.  By the law of those villagers, it would surely seem that if Jesus were physically there to point out the secret hatred, selfishness and self-righteousness they were harboring in their hearts, they too would be subject to the death penalty.  Or perhaps a scarlet "S" would have sufficed. 

Who wants the public school teachers to have all the fun?  I sure enjoy learning with my kids!  

Happy weekend to you!  It’s Friday!!!!!

And P.S.  The Pasta Carbonara is a hit!  

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