On using what you’ve got … (Smoky Pasta Carbonara)

Always, on Tuesday’s, it’s busy at our house.  I have piano lessons at 4:25 pm, right in the middle of when I’d usually do dinner.  Last night was no exception.  I’ve been kind of good, lately, about trying to have dinner ready to go before I leave so that the teenage munchkin can just take it out of the oven.  It may sound silly to most of you organized people, like a no brainer, but to me?  Yeah, not so silly.  I’m the LEAST organized person I know.  ADD makes my brain scattered so I have to practice being organized enough to have ANYTHING done on time.

Yesterday was a GOOD day.  I was able to do a whole lot of chores which is kind of a huge deal to me.  I don’t want to sound like a broken record but in the case that anyone reading this hasn’t seen, I’m battling an illness (bleeding ulcers) that has me pretty incapacitated.  It’s hard for me to have enough energy to do chores so a lot of the time a lot of the work falls on my daughter’s shoulders.  The house is clean, because I can’t stand a dirty house but still not up to my usual standards.  Anyway, it’s difficult for me to live with the guilt of dumping so much work on my kids shoulders.  I pay her well, but I feel like childhood shouldn’t be all about work.  Although, she doesn’t complain.  She has an Iphone that we pay for PLUS she’s saving her allowance to buy her first car and go overseas next year for a mission trip with church.  In other words, she needs the money.  lol  I keep telling myself that she’s building character because we’re teaching her responsibility.  That’s what I HAVE to tell myself.  

Yesterday was different.  Julia had SOME chores but most everything was already done when she walked through the door.  Yay me!  I love to see her smile 🙂

We also have some extra mouths to feed this week.  A friend of mine and her son are staying with us,  They’re in between houses.  They just need a place to lay their heads while they’re waiting for the perfect home.  It’s actually been fun!  During the day, I laugh because her 20 year old son keeps me laughing.  He’s here with me for a while before he goes to work.  It’s company and I didn’t realize that I was even lonely before they started staying here.  I must have been though because I’ve noticed that my moods have been better now that they’re here.  Note to self:  Don’t get too used to it!  lol  This is not a permanent situation.  I can enjoy it while it lasts thought, right?

With so many more mouths to feed, the grocery supply is running VERY low.  I usually have enough food in the house to feed 10 families, because I’m a food hoarder.  lol  I’ve come to grips with that fact.  Actually, even now, I have enough food to feed at least 5 families for a week but it’s food that you have to put together and actually THINK and PLAN what you’re going to do with it.  Definitely not convenience food.

There’s a lot of pasta.  So what do I do with pasta and hardly any meat?  I asked the great Paula Deen!  Remember the post where I told you about my awesome new Southern Cooking Bible?  You wouldn’t think, normally, you’d find a good pasta recipe in a Southern cookbook would you?  I’ve got MANY cookbooks and recipes, even some from Italy.  The reason I didn’t use them was because Bryar, the 20 year old who’s staying with us doesn’t like chunky tomatoes or onions.  I’m very limited in what I can get him to eat.  Paula solved my problem.

Here’s what I came up with and it was delicious!  It doesn’t call for it in Paula’s recipe but I sauteed 4 cloves of garlic ( because I doubled the recipe – only use 2 clovs if you’re going to make 1 batch) in the bacon grease so that Bryar wasn’t able to see it. I think ALL pasta should have some garlic.  That’s just me though.

Smoky Southern Spaghetti Carbonara


1/2 lb bacon, chopped

1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup to make it creamier)

2 large eggs


Tobasco or other hot sauce 

black pepper

1 lb spaghetti (I used bucatini – the spaghetti that’s hollow like a straw because that’s what we had)

1 medium onion, finely chopped (I didn’t use onion.  I used 2 cloves of garlic, minced and sauteed)



1.  In a large deep skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Take excess grease off bacon with a paper towel.  Don’t discard the grease in the pan.

2.  In a bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese, cream, eggs, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, and black pepper to taste.

3.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to directions on package.  Drain well.

4.  While the pasta cooks, return the skillet to medium high heat.  Add the onion (or garlic) and cook until softened, but not browned.  Remove the skillet from heat.

5.  Immediately add the hot pasta, the bacon and egg mixture to the skillet.  Toss everything together to combine.  The heat from the pasta and skillet will thicken the eggs into a creamy sauce.  Taste and add more salt, hot sauce or pepper if it needs it.  Serve hot.

Serves 4    (of COURSE I always double every recipe)

I served with garlic cheese toast.  Another win!  I love when a recipe calls for ingredients that we all usually have in our pantry.  


11 thoughts on “On using what you’ve got … (Smoky Pasta Carbonara)

    • You are just too sweet! Thanks for the prayers cause I can ALWAYS use them. I have to tell you though that I feel a WHOLE lot better than the doctors tell me I should feel. I’ve outlived every expiration date they’ve given me by years, even. I know they TELL me I’m sick but when you’ve been sick for this long, you just feel normal, if that makes sense? I just feel more tired than I’d like to feel 🙂

      • Well, praise God you feel as good as you do! Praying that you did some energy! Do you take iron? I’ve also started taking B-12 which helps with energy metabolism. (You probably know all of this…:)

      • I have to get iron infusions. I’m allergic to regular iron so I see a hematologist and I sit with the chemo patients, while they get their chemo, I get my iron with a bag of benadryl to stop the allergic reaction. But really I’m tired because I lose so much blood. When you don’t have blood, you can’t build iron on your own and you can’t breath and you’re sleepy. I’ve had MANY blood transfusions and when I DO get blood, I feel like a new woman. Like new life has been put back in me. It’s a shame I can’t just go in every month and get it though but because I’ve had SO many transfusions, they’re afraid I’m going to develop a reaction to other people’s blood and I’ll start rejecting it. So now, they make me get pretty low before they’ll consider more blood. That was probably WAY too much information. lmbo

        I’ve thought about asking for B-12 shots. I hear they do a lot to make people feel energized.

      • Wow. I’m definitely learning a lot talking to you. It’s not too much info. I like to learn. Sad you’re allergic to Iron. Praying He heals that as well!

  1. I love a good carbonara and I totally agree with you about garlic and pasta together! How nice of you to take your friend and her son in, especially when you’re going through your own issues. It’s amazing what a little company can do for our minds and souls. Oh, and I’m a food hoarder too, so don’t feel too badly. lol!

    • HAHA! I’m SO SO SO glad to know another food hoarder! I just like to know that I have EVERY ingredient that I might even think of needing for any little whim of mine. I get bored with food a lot and like to try new things. But besides all that, I think a lot of my “hoarding” comes from going through my parents divorce. My mom didn’t have money enough to feed us and Dad didn’t pay child support so many times we were hungry. Now that I’m an adult, like Scarlet O’Hara (Gone With the Wind), I’ve vowed “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”. lol There’s really no GOOD reason for me to have so much food in the house. lol

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