Baby will love this Italian-inspired creamy macaroni carbonara, packed with gooey cheese, protein-packed prosciutto, creamy egg yolks, and fresh herbs and spices.
Pasta carbonara is a staple pasta dish in most Italian homes and restaurants, but not many people attempt to make it at home. On that note, it is such a simple, easy dish to prepare…so much so that you can bring the flavours of Italy into your home without spending a fortune at expensive restaurants.
After making some pasta carbonara for dinner the other night I was inspired to make a version that my son could enjoy too. The main ingredients for traditional pasta carbonara are pancetta, raw eggs and sometimes heavy cream, all of which are not very baby-friendly.
For this rendition I swapped the heavy cream for a lighter soft cheese, chewy, salty pancetta for thinly sliced, mild prosciutto, and creamy, cooked egg yolks for raw whole eggs.
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1 slice of prosciutto, finely chopped or just torn into small pieces)
2 cooked egg yolks, finely diced or mashed
1 Laughing Cow cheese (or 1-2oz other soft cheese)
Parmesan cheese, grated (quantity as desired)
1/2 cup elbow macaroni (or other small pasta such as orzo, shells, etc.)
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
*TIP: I usually cook my pasta 1-2 minutes less than the recommended time to attain that”al dente” texture however, you may prefer to overcook in this case, depending on baby’s age and familiarity with foods with a chewier, denser texture.
In the meantime, heat oil in a small saucepan on medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the prosciutto and cook for about 2 minutes or until it becomes slightly translucent.
*TIP: If the pasta is not ready remove the onions and prosciutto from the heat to avoid burning or drying out too much.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, setting aside about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan with the onions and prosciutto, along with the egg yolks, cheese, and 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
Stir for about 2-3 minutes or until everything is well amalgamated and the cheese has melted. If the pasta is too dry just add 1 tbs. at a time of the extra cooking liquid to the pan until you get the desired consistency, that is, a creamy, thick sauce!
Remove the pasta immediately from the pan to avoid it overcooking and becoming too dry and mushy!
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.