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Shortcut Carbonara

Use whatever meats or cheeses you have for this Shortcut Carbonara. (Courtesy 'High Flavor Low Labor')

Use whatever meats or cheeses you have for this Shortcut Carbonara. (Courtesy "High Flavor, Low Labor")

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Updated: May 9, 2012 9:43AM

AP food editor J.M. Hirsch packs leftovers of this in his son’s lunch. Use whatever meats and cheeses you have. The more traditional bacon will take a little longer to cook.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive

1 pound deli meats (a blend of ham, prosciutto and turkey or chicken is good), roughly chopped

12 ounces fresh fettuccine

3/4 cup grated Italian cheeses (such as a blend of Parmesan and Pecorino)

1/2 cup creme fraiche or plain Greek-style yogurt

Salt and ground black pepper

Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Add meats and saute until lightly browned and just crisp, about 6 minutes. The pan will get coated and a bit sticky. Set it aside, leaving meat in pan.

Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions. When pasta is done, reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water, then drain and transfer pasta to skillet.

Return skillet to low heat. Add cheeses and creme fraiche or yogurt, using tongs to mix and toss everything until cheeses are melted and pasta is coated. If pasta is too dry, add bit of reserved cooking water and mix well. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

From High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking (Ballantine, $24) by J.M. Hirsch

Nutrition facts per serving: 677 calories, 37 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 150 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugars, 38 g protein, 1,933 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

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