You know what someone told me?
“Pasta with REAL noodles is going to come back in style this year.”
When did a steaming hot pot of carby-delicious noodles covered in rich, creamy-dreamy sauce of love and general deliciousness ever go OUT OF STYLE? I mean? Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo basically RUNS THORUGH MY VEINS.
Clearly, I live under a rock. In this case, I am VRY VRY OKAY WIDDAT.
Also, I state “real” noodles, not because some faux-imposter-wanna-be-noodle has been parading itself around. I’m talking about “real” noodles that aren’t spiralized…which, let’s be clear, really are not noodles at all. No matter HOW MUCH you use your imagination.
No veggies. Just good ol’ down-home, country-lovin’ carbs.
Whatever that means.
What I’m really just trying to say is BRING ON THE SWEATPANTS.
You get it. And you feel the same way. Don’t lie.
Newsflash: I may have stated that the doom of wearing sweatpants is imminent in your life, this comfort-food-<3<3<3ing season, but I also sort of lied to you. This Cauliflower Alfredo Penne Carbonara Bake?
No sweat/stretchy/over-voluminous pants-wearing REQUIRED.
Aaaaand, it has vegetables. But they aren’t a faux-noodle, so I decided it doesn’t count. My bowl of comfort and love and creamy-pasta JOY. My rules.
The tradish version of a penne carbonara is basically a pot of noodles+cheese+bacon+egg yolks. Which, is not really a bad thing to have inside your tummy at ANY POINT IN YOUR LIFE EVER but…it does require some wiggle room in the pants department, if your pickin’ up what I am puttin’ down.
So, In VRYVRYVRY predictable Taylor style, I de-cheese-and-dairy-fied it by using the one thing that I will continue to use forever and ever the end, even if it falls out of the ultra-trendy-hip category of food: cauliflower Alfredo.
Creamy pureed cauliflower + sweet, tender peas + rich egg yolk s+ garlicky onions + salty pieces of crispy bacon.
Liiiiiiike, thassss what I am talkin’ ABOUT.
Also: real bacon friends. Don’t even think about doing a turkey bacon-secret swap. We’re already taking this carbonara from a 12 to a NONE on the scale of how-many-pairs-of-sweat-pants-do-I-need-to-purchase-in-order-to-eat-this-pasta-on-a-regular-basis.
Do it for the salty, crispy CRUNCH and the necessity of cooking the onion in bacon fat.
Is it just me or does that sentence bring music to your ears? I wanna bacon-fat-onion EVERY OTHER RECIPE that ever comes from my kitchen.
You’ll understand soon enough.
I have a feeling that MANY of you are somehow looking past the creamy-hidden-veggies that actually taste good, PAST the comforting-carbs-with-REAL-NUTRITION AND somehow even past the smoky chunks of salty bacon and all you can think about is EGG YOLK IN MY PASTA? NO THANK YOU. NOT COOL WIDDAT.
Which is why I baked it for you. Which, you really don’t NEED to do. When you whisk your luscious, velvety-smooth vibrant-yellow egg yolk into the warm noodles, it gets enough heat to be safe to eat.
But, if you’re still feeling bad-raw-egg juju coming on, I oven-ed (is that a verb?) it for you.
Comfy carbs. Tasty veggies. Bacon…AND preventing you from worrying about near-death-food-experiences?
I GOT YO BACK.
And Y-O-U get to check “healthy carb load” off your bucket list.
I know it was on there.
- 8 ounces gluten free penne
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 5 cups cauliflower, cut into florets (just over one pound once cut)
- 3 slices thick sliced bacon, (hickory smoked preferred)
- 1 cup onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup peas, (thaw if using frozen)
- 2 egg yolks
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Cook the penne to al dente, according to package directions. Once cooked, drain, place back into the pot and cover until ready to use.
- While the pasta cooks, combine the water and chicken broth in a very large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the cauliflower, cover and cook until fork tender, about 7-8 minutes.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat and cook the bacon until golden brown and crispy, flipping once. Once cooked, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and press out the excess fat.
- Keep the bacon fat in the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the garlic and onion until soft and golden brown, stirring frequently.
- Transfer the cooked onion/garlic mixture into a blender, making sure to scrape out all the bacon fat with it. Add in the salt and a few good twists of pepper.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked cauliflower into the blender. Pour in 3 Tbsp of the cooking liquid and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the cauliflower sauce, along with the peas into the pot with the noodles. Crumble the cooked bacon and stir it in as well. Finally, add in the egg yolks and stir until well mixed.
- Transfer the pasta to a baking dish, or oven-safe skillet and bake JUST until the top is set, only about 10 minutes. Don’t over-bake or the cauliflower loses its creaminess.
- Garnish with parsley and DEVOUR.
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