Faces of the Food Bank: Bailey

How long at the food bank:
One month as of today!
What you do here: I coordinate two of our programs (Senior Servings and CSFP) that feed low-income senior citizens. I also work on informing the public about SNAP benefits and help to guide SNAP applicants as needed.
Something about you:
I enjoy cooking, reading, hiking, running, playing video games and playing with my dog.
Pearls of Wisdom:
“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” -Mark Twain
Favorite Recipe:
From-Scratch Pasta Carbonara
¾ lb dry noodles (any kind)
7 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
2 cups milk, warmed to at least room temperature
½ lb frozen peas, steamed (leave them a little under-done)
5 oz prosciutto, diced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ lemon, juiced
Italian Seasoning, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt, a generous amount

1. Put a tablespoon of salt into a large pot, then fill with water. Set over stove burner on medium heat and cover.

2. While the water warms, heat 2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat in a deep skillet or Dutch oven (I use a ceramic-lined, cast-iron Dutch oven). Once melted, add prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, then remove prosciutto with a slotted spoon and move it to an uncovered plate.

3. Turn heat down to medium. Add the remaining 5 Tbsp butter. Scrape up any crispies from the bottom of the skillet. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk or stir immediately. You want the flour and butter to completely combine or else you will get lumps, and nobody wants those! As soon as flour and butter fully combine, slowly pour in a bit of warm milk. Stir into butter/flour mixture, watch it cook for a minute, then once it thickens up and gets more dough-like, add more milk and repeat. Keep doing this until you get what looks like a pasta sauce consistency, whatever that means to you. You don’t have to use all the milk or you may find you need more than listed. Add salt, more Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to taste. Turn heat to lowest setting.

4. Meanwhile, your water should be boiling. Add dry noodles to water and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the noodles are just barely done, strain off the water. Add strained noodles and steamed peas to pasta sauce. Stir to coat noodles in sauce. Combined use of tongs and a large spoon works well.

5. Now add Parmesan, prosciutto, and lemon juice. Stir well and taste/adjust seasoning as needed. Turn off heat. Plate food and top your portion with a little more Parmesan and lemon juice, if desired. Enjoy!