Pasta Carbonara is a classic Italian dish of pasta tossed in a bacon, egg and Parmesan sauce, and it’s one of my favorite dishes. I’ll often saute diced chicken and add it to the sauce and call it Chicken Carbonara.
This week, I’m doing a recipe mash-up, combining the components of the pasta sauce with another Italian favorite – Rag Soup.
When I was developing the recipe, I served my husband, Bond, a big bowl, and his response was, “This tastes like Chicken Carbonara soup.”
I laughed because that’s exactly what I was trying to create, but it also verified that I had come up with the right combination.
The soup begins by sauteing chopped bacon until crispy. I use a little of the bacon drippings to saute diced boneless, skinless chicken breast meat and a little garlic and then stir in chicken broth.
Rag Soup – which is also called Stracciatelli – is a peasant dish in which eggs are beaten with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese then whisked into boiling broth. That’s the final step in this quick and easy soup.
Top each serving of soup with additional Parmesan cheese and serve as a warm lunch or add a big tossed salad and garlic bread for a weeknight supper.
CHICKEN CARBONARA SOUP
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into small pieces, about ⅓ pound
½ teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 small clove
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Cook bacon in a large saucepan until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the saucepan. Heat the drippings over medium-high heat until bubbly. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season to taste with black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until chicken is done. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley and black pepper together in a small bowl.
Pour the egg mixture into the broth, stirring vigorously. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Ladle into bowls.
Garnish each serving with some of the bacon pieces and additional freshly grated Parmesan and a grinding of black pepper.
Makes four servings.