Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pasta with carbonara sauce, vegetables and spinach

I am a pasta lover and so are my kids. Earlier I used to just buy them and never tried to cook them at home. Then the day I decided to cook it for the first time, I just bought a ready-to-use pasta sauce and some pasta and made it since making everything from scratch sounded daunting and elaborative. It was good but since I always preferred to avoid buying ready-to-cook items, be it curries or desserts, I wanted to give it a shot. So I decided to make it all by myself. But after reading a number of recipes from the internet, I was totally confused when I was about to start cooking. So I tried out my own recipe, partially based on random recipes from the internet. Basically the carbonara sauce I made might not be truly carbonara. But the end result was delicious! Also, it was very easy to cook, surprisingly! Since then, I cook it once a week and it makes a good lunchbox food for all of us.

Okay, now to the recipe. The ingredients to be used would be :

  • Pasta of your choice - as required (I cooked about 500 gm)
  • Baby spinach leaves -  as required - cleaned
  • Carrot - 1, grated
  • Celery - 3-4 small chunks
  • French beans - 2-3 cut
  • Cherry tomatoes - 3-4
  • Onion - 1
  • Garlic cloves - 3
  • Red chilly flakes
  • Egg - 1 (this can be avoided if not required. It is usually added to make it creamy)
  • Milk - half cup
  • Melted butter - more than half cup
  • Cheese as required
  • All purpose flour - half cup (but I use wheat floor these days - just being health-conscious for a bit)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley leaves for seasoning (As I didn't have this at home, I used dried parsley leaves)

Method :
  1. Add pasta in heavily salted boiling water. Make sure it is fully immersed. Leave it for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Make sure it is not over-cooked and stays al dente as the Italians call it. Then drain it and keep it aside. Save 1/4 cup of water used to cook pasta as it might be required later.
  2. Pre-heat the oven for 5 minutes to 200 degrees (Celsius)
  3. Grind onion, carrot, celery, beans, garlic and red chilly flakes together.
  4. Then add the cherry tomatoes and grind the veg mixture further to make it like a paste.
  5. Heat a pan and add butter
  6. Once the butter melts, add the all-purpose flour and stir it for 2 minutes
  7. Add milk and then black pepper and salt (and dried parsley leaves if being used) while stirring until it is creamy. Set it aside.
  8. Add a little bit butter (or olive oil) in the pan and add the vegetable mixture prepared and stir it for a minute.
  9. Beat the egg and add it to the pan and mix it well.
  10. Next step is baking in the oven : Add baking sheet and then spread the pasta and pour the cream and veg mixture and mix all of them. Add the baby spinach leaves and mix it in. Add the saved water with which pasta was cooked if it is too dry. Cover it with baking sheet/aluminium foil and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees.
Note : When I cooked it for the first time, I did not use the oven. I simply cooked in the pan by keeping it covered.

Serving suggestions: 
  • Drizzle fresh parsley leaves and pine nuts while serving
  • For my lunchbox, I add some salad leaves and some salt and pepper on it to add nutritive value. Sometimes I drizzle the salad leaves with olive oil if it feels too dry.
Bon appetit!



  1. Hi Sharmi,

    This is your classmate Karthika. I was initially shocked to see my class topper finally ended up in posting cooking recipe�� But I went on reading your blog believing for something more and gladly you didn't disappoint me. Your blog is awesome. Keep up the good work.