Easy Carbonara

Wow! It’s been a busy week! I had a birthday, a party, and a trip to the family cabin. It was fun, but not super conducive to writing, so it’s kind of nice to be back home, and back in the groove of things. And the week has given me so many things to write about! Yay!

Whenever we get to the cabin, I like to plan our meals up there. Getting to the grocery store is kind of a pain when we’re up there, as is trying to take lots of leftovers home with us, so the more I plan, the better it is. Of course, on our last night there I didn’t really have a plan for dinner besides “eat a lot so we don’t have to pack it tomorrow”.

Using what we had leftover from the week, I whipped up an easy and yummy carbonara. That’s why I love this pasta dish. It can be made from basically scraps, but it’s delicious and rather impressive. I used the last of the pack of bacon, a few eggs, and a quarter onion left from taco night, and voila! Pasta carbonara!

Ingredients

  • 1 LB pasta
  • 5 slices bacon, cut up
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 white onion, diced

Instructions

  1. Get your pasta going.
  2. Start frying your bacon in a large frying pan on medium high heat.
  3. While you’re waiting for your pasta to cook, and your bacon to crisp, whisk together your eggs and cheese in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Dice your onion and add it to your bacon when the bacon is almost done cooking. Turn the heat down to medium to medium low heat so your onions don’t burn. I season my bacon and onion with pepper and garlic powder to give it some extra flavor. Feel free to do the same, or not. Up to you.
  5. When your bacon is crispy, and your onion translucent, remove it from the heat and drain the grease.
  6. When your pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and add the noodles to your bacon and onion. Mix until your noodles are evenly covered.
  7. Here’s the only slightly tricky part. Add the pasta to your egg and cheese mixture and stir quickly. You want to make sure to stir it right away so that you get a nice, creamy sauce and not scrambled eggs. But as far as tricky parts go, this one is pretty easy.
  8. You’re done! Garnish with a little extra cheese or pepper and serve with a nice salad, and you’ve got a yummy dinner and a cleaner fridge.
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Easy, 5 Ingredient, Slow Cooker Lasagna

Confession: I’ve always been intimidated by making lasagna. I don’t know, something about having to cook big old lasagna noodles, and then handle said cooked noodles made me nervous. So, despite thoroughly enjoying lasagna, I had never made one. That is, until I realized I could make it in my slow cooker! Huzzah!

After looking at some other recipes, and some good old-fashioned experimenting, I came up with this super easy, five ingredient lasagna that tastes even better than it looks.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package of uncooked lasagna noodle (not the oven ready ones)
  • 1 big thing (45 oz) of your favorite marinara (I like one with Italian sausage in it)
  • 1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese (separated)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

The secret to cooking a slow cooker lasagna is all in the sauce. Which I learned the hard way when my first lasagna came out with inedible crispy noodles. You’re using the sauce to cook your noodles and make them tender, so make sure all your noodles get a good covering of sauce. 🙂

  1. Mix together your ricotta, parmesan, and 3 cups of your mozzarella cheese together.
  2. Pour some sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker, covering the bottom. IMG_1069
  3. Layer your noodles on top of the sauce. Feel free to break them to make them fit.

    IMG_1073
    My eight year old sous chef helping me out.
  4. Use about a third of your cheese mixture to cover your noodles.

    IMG_1079
    Your cheese mixture will cover your noodles better than this. I’m not sure why I only snapped a picture halfway through this layer.
  5. Repeat, sauce, noodles, cheese mixture. You should have about three solid layers.
  6. After your last layer of cheese mixture, we’re going to mix it up a bit. Cover your cheese mixture with the last of your noodles.
  7. Cover the last of your noodles with the last of your sauce, making sure that your noodles are covered (so you don’t end up with crispy noodles like I did).
  8. Now cover that with the last cup of mozzarella. IMG_1080
  9. Cook on low for about 4-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker. I cook mine for four hours and it comes out a little crispy on the bottom and edges, which is perfect for my family. IMG_1084

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Let me know in the comments how it works for you!