By far this recipe has some of my favourite flavours; garlic, bacon, fresh herbs, mushrooms, Parmesan – I mean, how can you do wrong? And add in that spinach (or kale, whichever you prefer) and you’ve got a completely HEALTHY meal. Right?
The great thing about Carbonara is how quick it is to make. I’m throwing this recipe out there for an easy and affordable Valentine’s dinner. Cozy up with a glass of wine and your loved one. Or, if you’re a single gal, throw on your pj’s, (still have the glass of wine, obvi, or heck, make it a bottle), and get fully immersed in a great chick flick! Aww, I almost miss that…. sorry babe… 🙂
And guys, use whatever pasta you want here – I love the ribbon like strands of Pappardelle but classically I guess spaghetti would be used. So use what you have on hand.
Spinach & Mushroom Carbonara Pappardelle
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 6 rashes bacon, diced (use pancetta if you have it! You want about 3/4 cup cubed)
- 2 plump garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 500g cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 500 g Pappardelle pasta (or your choice)
- Approx. 1 cup reserved starchy pasta water
- S&P, to taste
Put a large pot of water on to boil. Cook pasta to manufacturers directions, and reserve about a cup of pasta water when draining.
In the meantime, grab a frying pan, and heat EVOO on medium high heat. Toss in the bacon when hot. And render until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, and pour off a little bacon fat until there is about a tablespoon left. Then add in the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together two eggs. Add in the cheese, and bacon, mushrooms and garlic, while still stirring to avoid curdling the eggs. Add in the spinach & basil, and the hot pasta on top. Toss with tongs, well, to combine. Adjust the consistency of the sauce, by adding in a little starchy pasta water – this will give it that lovely, velvety gloss.
Season with lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Taste, and add in some salt if you wish. Just remember that the bacon will be salty too.
Serve with a fresh grating of Parmesan, another good cracking of black pepper, and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
This classic and rustic dish, is a crowd pleaser – and you cannot tell me otherwise. Surprise your Valentine with this delicious dish on Tuesday. It’ll be a hit!