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Carbonara, Pesto, and Red Sauce: Recipes Under 10 minutes

Time shouldn't keep you from making and eating delicious food. These 3 pasta recipes are all easy to cook, and they can be made within the time it takes for the pasta to boil. That means you can have an easy dinner within about 10 minutes, and it satisfies any pasta cravings. I've got a really delicious carbonara, a simple red sauce that is more than the sum of its parts, and a pesto that excites your taste buds.




Carbonara

3 strips of bacon

3 eggs +1 yolk

20g parmesan, 20g pecorino and more at end (usually ends up around 45-50g in total)

20 turns of black pepper and more at end

1/2 pound pasta

1/4 cup pasta water


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolk with 40g of grated pecorino and parmesan cheese and 20 turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Drop the spaghetti into a pot of salted boiling water and cook it according to the package instructions. Cook your bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Set the bacon aside and reserve a few tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat, we'll need that later.


Drain the cooked pasta, reserving about half a cup of pasta water. Add a splash of hot pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture to temper the eggs. Transfer the hot pasta to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and toss well to create a creamy sauce. The heat from the pasta will be enough to cook the raw egg in the sauce. Add more grated cheese, if needed, to achieve the desired thickness. Season with salt, more black pepper, and a splash of the reserved bacon fat. Crumble your strips of bacon into pieces and incorporate them into the pasta. Serve with more cheese and bacon and enjoy!


Red sauce

3 tbsp olive oil

1.5 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp chili flake

2 cloves grated garlic

Pinch of sugar

1/4 cup pasta water plus extra as needed

1/2 pound of spaghetti

Chunk of grated parmesan


This sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta, so get your water boiling while you create the sauce. Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted water until just al dente. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the grated garlic and tomato paste to the skillet. Let that cook in the oil until the color of the tomato paste has darkened, but don't let it burn. Add in your chili flakes as well as a pinch of sugar, then to create the sauce, add in a 1/4 cup of pasta water. Your gonna want to whisk this in quickly so the sauce comes together. Add the pasta to the skillet and mix it with the red sauce until the spaghetti is well coated. Add more pasta water, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and add a knob of grated parmesan cheese to complete the dish. Serve the pasta with an extra sprinkle of cheese, a drizzle of fresh olive oil, and some cracked black pepper. In my opinion, the olive oil at the end is a must.


Pesto

2 oz basil leaves

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp nut (pine, walnut, or cashew)

1 tbsp parmesan

1 tbsp pecorino

Olive oil to form saucy paste

1/2 pound pasta

Pasta water as needed


Same for the last one, the pasta will cook while we make our pesto. Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water according to the time on the box. While the pasta cooks, prepare the pesto by crushing the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the nuts and crush them with the garlic until you have a paste. Gradually add the basil leaves to the mortar and continue crushing until you have a paste, this usually takes the longest time, so gear up for a workout. Mix in a knob of grated pecorino and parmesan cheese to add in a little more saltiness. You could do all of this in a food processor, however if your processor is a little on the larger size, you may find it hard to break up the garlic. It tends to sit just below the blades until there's enough volume in the container.


Gradually add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pesto until it reaches a thin paste consistency. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a little pasta water. Add the pasta to a bowl and toss it with the pesto, ensuring that every strand is coated. Use a little pasta water, if necessary, to achieve the perfect pesto coating.


Cheers!

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Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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