On Saturday morning I was out running some errands. I called my wife, and asked the big question, “What do you feel like eating today?”. She immediately said “pasta”. Ok, I thought, pasta, but there are so many different ways to make pasta. I had to chuckle as when I popped that question, I thought she was going to say meatloaf like she normally does, so I was a bit relieved. After a brief pause, she said “You know the kind you make with the cream sauce, bacon, and peas”. I replied with “Pasta Carbonara?”. That was the ticket, however, as much as I wanted to make that dish, I had lasagna on my mind when she first stated she wanted pasta. So I asked her if she would meet me half way, and I would make a lasagna carbonara.
When I first thought of the dish, I thought to myself, that one it work, and two, it would be really awesome. As I had to make a few twists in the sauce, it was well worth it. An awesome cheesy cream sauce really brings this dish up to one of those top ten dishes, hands down. Oh yeah, and it has comfort written all over it, multiplied by three!
- 12-15 lasagna sheets, cooked according to the package
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced as close to a paste as you can get it
- 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, reserve bits for garnish
- 1 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 1/4 cups of heavy cream
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pecorino cheese
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Begin by making your sauce. I should admit that the only thing eliminated here on a true carbonara is the use of eggs, however, I left those out as I did not want them to be come out scrambled due to the baking process. To a sauce pot, add the butter, and cook on medium heat until it begins to melt. Add in the garlic, cream, salt, pepper, pecorino, and parmesan cheeses. Stir well, then add in one cup of the mozzarella cheese.
Stir and stir often until your sauce begins to thicken, roughly ten minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once your sauce has thickened, get your go to lasagna pan, and ladle in some of the cheese sauce, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish. Place your first layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom. Sprinkle some bacon, peas, more grated parmesan cheese, and a bit more mozzarella cheese on the top. Ladle in a bit more sauce, and repeat with three more layers. Noodles, sprinkles, sauce. Cover with the last few sheets of lasagna noodles, and cover the top with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with any remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Once cooked, removed the foil, and place back in the oven, uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes until everything is nice and bubbly.
Finally, remove the dish from the oven, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Slice, and serve. Sprinkle some of the bacon bits onto the top of the lasagna, and dig it.
Your traditional lasagna just met its match. Enjoy.