There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of cheesy, yummy pasta! I loved a big fat ol’ bowl of Carbonara. It’s just so creamy – without the fat of cream – and bacon-y (okay I know that is not a word but for now, it is lol) and just feels like a hug in a bowl!
I like to top my Carbonara with some chicken filets but you definitely don’t need the extra protein. It is basically bacon and eggs pasta. Hmmmmm, you could eat it for breakfast! Woo-hoo, pasta for breakfast! If you are trying to cut out carbs (personally I think you’re crazy), you can use your handy tool to make zoodles. Zucchini noodles. Or coodles – carrot noodles. Hey, that’s fun! Hmmmmm, poodles – parsnip noodles? Nope, not that one cause I feel like you are eating the neighbor’s dog!
If I were a true Italian, I would use pancetta instead of bacon and you are welcome to make that substitution. I just really like the smoky flavour that bacon adds to the dish. Truth be told, I have never made it with pancetta. I have had it in restaurants but never at home. I always had bacon on hand so that is what I used.
You can add some veggies to the pasta if you want. Anything in season would be delicious and an easy way to use up some vegetables that you have in your fridge. Mmmmmmm – roasted corn would be sooooo good!
- 3 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 package of bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 Vidalia onion, diced
- 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 box of linguini or your preferred pasta
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth or white wine
- 1 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 package of chicken filets
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until no pink remains, ~6 minutes a side. Remove from pan, cover and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt generously and add pasta. Cook pasta until el dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the starchy water.
- While pasta cooks, bring skillet up to medium heat again with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add bacon and start to brown, ~3 minutes. Add shallots, onion and garlic. Cook for ~2 minutes more. Add broth (or wine) and reduce heat to low. Cook until wine or broth reduces by almost half. Remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks in a heat safe bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Now you have to temper your egg yolks with 1 cup of the hot starchy water so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. DON’T PANIC! All that means is that you slowly but consistently pour that cup of hot starchy water into the yolks while you’re whisking them. Simple really! Add cheese to egg yolks.
- Add drained pasta to skillet with bacon mixture. Pour tempered yolk mixture and toss to combine. Use reserved 1/2 cup of starchy water if more liquid is needed.
- Serve with extra parm!
I hope you enjoy my Carbonara and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Oh, oh…you know what would be good instead of chicken? Shrimp!
Update – I forgot the parsley! Dumb dumb! Add the parsley when you are tossing everything together.