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Cherie Johnson makes Pasta Carbonara with Greg Slim Lively Johnson / Marti's Music Kitchen EP #20

By MARTI MENDENHALL // Cherie Johnson, music promoter and curator of Cherie’s Blues Highway makes homemade pasta and her famous Pasta Carbonara with hubby, Greg Slim Lively Johnson, President of the Cascade Blues Association on the latest episode of Marti's Music Kitchen.


On Episode 20 of Marti’s Music Kitchen, the fun and music podcast where anything can happen, we team up with newlyweds and Portland’s power couple in the Blues scene, Greg Slim Lively Johnson and Cherie Johnson. Greg is President of the Cascade Blues Association and 2016 recipient of The Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award. He is also a respected photographer, capturing the music he loves behind the lens. In 2015, he contributed to a fabulous book of photographs (Jenn Ocken) and memories (Greg), Blues on Beale Street: Memoirs of the International Blues Challenge. It “is a love letter told in photographs, accompanied by a series of written experiences, short stories, song lyrics, and thoughts from a variety of attendees and participants in the International Blues Challenge, an annual event sponsored by The Blues Foundation in Memphis.” Cherie is curator of Cherie’s Blues Highway, music promoter, and international travel consultant. Inspired by a recent trip to Italy, Cherie shows us how quick and easy it is to make homemade pasta which we use for her famous Pasta Carbonara, a recipe that her new hubby loves!

Come travel with us and find out how a shared love affair with the Blues led to a life together that has them traveling throughout Portland’s music scene and beyond.









2 1/2 c. all purpose flour

2 1/2 c. semolina flour

7 eggs



Sift flour. Make a well in middle, add eggs and gently mix into flour until incorporated. Place on floured surface and knead 7-8 minutes. Let dough rest then divide into portions to put through a pasta maker or hand roll into desired noodles (You can put in a Kitchenaid mixer instead of hand kneading).


Pasta Carbonara


One pound pasta

1 egg

1 ⁄2 cup half and half cream

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

12 slices pancetta or 12 slices smoked streaky bacon

1 cup fresh peas or 1 cup frozen peas

2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely sliced

freshly grated parmesan cheese


Directions: Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook al dente. Whisk the egg in a bowl with the cream, salt and pepper. Put the pancetta or bacon into a second pan and cook until crispy and golden. When pasta is nearly cooked, add the peas for the last minute and a half. This way they will burst in your mouth and be lovely and sweet. When cooked, drain in a colander, saving a little of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the pancetta and stir in most of the mint, finely sliced - if the pan isn't big enough, mix it all together in a large warmed bowl. Now add the egg and cream mix to the pasta. It's important to add it while the pasta is still hot so it will cook the egg but not so that they resemble scrambled eggs but makes the sauce silky and smooth. Toss together and loosen with a little of the reserved cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the Parmesan and the rest of the mint leaves, and serve.


 #GregSlimLivelyJohnson #CherieJohnson #CascadeBluesAssociation #CheriesBluesHighway #Blues #PdxMusic

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