Wednesday, April 11, 2012 favorite!

I am getting behind on recipe posts as I have continued to try tons of yummy recipes I have found on Pinterest the past few weeks. I have some very tasty dishes to share with you today! I have always loved pasta. Ever since I was a little girl, if I didn't like what my mom had prepared for dinner (sorry, mom, I was so picky!) I would have a bowl of plain pasta topped with a little melted butter instead. It definitely got me through many meals in college on my own as well. ;) So you can see how pasta is still essential in my diet now. I tried the Atkins diet once in college for a week and I think I nearly died. For real. My body can't function without carbs and pasta is an essential source in my book. Since my younger years, I have converted to an almost exclusive whole wheat pasta diet. The exception to that rule being when I order pasta at a restaurant, or can't find the pasta shape I want in a whole wheat version. I splurge and go for the white stuff. Shame on me, but it's so good! So, if you have ever wondered why I post so many pasta dishes on here, now you know! They are my weakness. :)

The first recipe I tried was Creamy Bacon Carbonara. You can find my pin here, but the recipe originated from Get Off Your Butt and Bake's blog, and I made a few slight modifications. The mere thought of creamy pasta paired with crisp bacon had my mouth watering before I even got to all of the pictures. Wow!

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (I use Reduced Fat)
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound bacon (I had a little more than that)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound pasta (I used Barilla's whole grain thin spaghetti)

Prepare the pasta as directed on the package. I always prepare mine al dente. Beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley, salt and red pepper together in a bowl with a fork. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, then crumble and set aside on a paper towel to absorb the extra grease.

Draining all but 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon grease from the skillet, saute the onion and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and golden.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and while still warm, add to the onions and mushrooms. Pour the cream mixture into the pasta, and stir over low heat for one to two minutes. Don't do this on high heat, or you'll make scrambled eggs! 

Add some reserved pasta water, if needed, to thin the sauce. Stir in the cooked bacon and serve while hot. Top with a little Parmesan cheese if desired.

I also baked a loaf of French bread to accompany this dish. I am so glad that I decided to, because it was perfect for soaking up every bit of the tasty sauce! :) This dish was a hit and definitely one that I will be making again and again.

The next recipe I tried was for Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups. Here is my pin, but this recipe originated from's blog. This is a fun twist on both lasagna and chicken alfredo. Beware though, this is a pretty time-intensive dish, not something you want to try to throw together last minute, unless you plan to use store-bought sauce and pre-cooked, shredded chicken.

  • 9 lasagna noodles (I used whole grain pasta)
  • 2 1/2 cups alfredo sauce (homemade recipe directly below)
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 ounces cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's 1/3 less fat)
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp freshly minced garlic (I used 3 small cloves)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (I used Reduced Fat)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I baked 2 chicken breasts, then shred them with a fork)
  • Oregano
  • Garlic salt
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used Kraft, with a touch of Philadelphia cream cheese)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the alfredo sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth and melted. Whisk in the heavy cream. Season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently until the sauce thickens, around 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese and when melted, it's ready to use.

Meanwhile, boil 8-10 cups of water in a large pot and cook the lasagna noodles until al dente. It's helpful to make extra in case they fall apart while cooking. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then, lay out each noodle individually and blot dry with a paper towel.

Spray an 8" x 8" pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour 1/2 cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom on the pan. Spread about 2 Tbsp of alfredo sauce over each noodle.

Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of the sauce. Take 1/9 of the shredded chicken and spread it out evenly over each noodle.

Add approximately 3 Tbsp of cheese on top of that.

To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings. You will need to lift the noodle a little to prevent squishing out the inside ingredients while rolling. Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam-side down so that they don't come undone.

Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top.

This was also a super tasty dish. I am now spoiled with this alfredo sauce though. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat store-bought sauce again! So, even if you don't want to try this entire dish, I would still recommend using this alfredo recipe the next time you need alfredo sauce. You will not be disappointed! I hope you enjoy these pasta dishes as much as we did. :)

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