Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kicked-Up Carbonara

I came across this dish on Krista’s Kitchen a while ago, right after I adapted her recipe for Southwestern bacon mac and cheese. It was one of the suggested recipes at the bottom of her post, and it looked delicious. Then I read her post and saw that she and her family didn’t like it, at all. She thought this was probably because of her wine choice, so I thought I’d go ahead and give the recipe a shot. I wouldn’t be in danger of using cheap wine since I don’t drink wine very often and very rarely buy it just for a recipe (other than risotto -- wine is a must in risotto recipes, in my humble opinion).

So I made this, replacing the wine with chicken broth, and we all really enjoyed it. Joe especially raved about it, and kept saying, “This is really, really good” between bites. He was right. This is basically pasta alla carbonara, with a few more ingredients thrown in to make it even more delicious. The sauce is silky, creamy, and yummy, and every bite of this pasta is loaded with flavor.

Kicked-Up Carbonara
adapted from Krista’s Kitchen

12 ounces linguine or thin spaghetti
5 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet; discard remaining drippings. Add garlic and red bell pepper; cook and stir until bell pepper is slightly softened. Add chicken broth and bring to boiling. Reduce heat; boil gently, uncovered, 3 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

3. In medium bowl whisk together eggs and half-and-half. Add egg mixture to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until egg mixture coats a metal spoon. Do not scramble.

4. Add egg mixture to pasta along with bacon, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Cook over medium heat 1 minute just to heat through, tossing with tongs to combine. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid to pasta mixture as needed to make creamy. Top with black pepper and additional parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Print Friendly and PDF


Kitten with a Whisk said...

I love carbonara but haven't made it forever! I should add it to the list.

Aarthi said...

very creamy and yummy

Rachel said...

Mmmmm...Looks so creamy and delicious!

Sarah - The Home Cook said...

I love carbonara (it's my favorite pasta dish) so I can't wait to give this a try.

Amy Anderson said...

I just recently discovered pasta carbonara. I'd never had it before a few weeks ago!

Amy @ A Little Nosh

Debbie said...

Definitely my kind of dish and my son's too. A keeper!