If you've never made carbonara, consider adding it to your weekday dinner lineup. It is a traditional Italian pasta dish in which eggs are mixed with cheese and then swirled into cooked pasta just before serving. The result is a luscious bowl of food you won't believe contains so few ingredients. This recipe swaps quinoa for spaghetti to great, protein-packed effect.
The original recipe calls for bacon, which I don't really keep in the house and didn't have time to buy when I cooked this in a pinch for dinner one night. In the end, it didn't matter: My husband quickly declared this one of his two favorite meals I've ever made. (The other: chicken and dumplings.)
If you have bacon, by all means use it, but walnuts do a tremendous job of subbing in for meat, their nuttiness deepening when roasted to add a layer of umami to the dish.