My friend Caitlin was just in Spain for 3 months while accompanying her fiancé George on a work trip. (that’s them in the photo to the right, aren’t they the cutest?!) They fell in love with Spain’s beauty but most of all its food, and one in particular, Spaghetti Carbonara. Spaghetti Carbonara originated in Italy but has become a very popular dish all over Europe, and apparently served at most all restaurants in Spain.
Caitlin started messaging me photos of all the different Carbonaras they had from all different restaurants around Spain and they all looked incredible!!
As their time in Spain was coming to a close Caitlin messaged me, asking if I could try to recreate the Spaghetti Carbonara so when they returned they could enjoy their favorite dish in the comfort of their own home. Of course I was up to the challenge as pasta is my number one weakness. I started asking Caitlin what she liked about the dish and what made it so special…I think my favorite quote from our conversation was, “I loved that it was like a Carl’s Jr. commercial in that, if it doesn’t get all over the place it doesn’t belong in your face, because it had more sauce than the traditional Carbonara.” After studying the “food porn” photos of all the Carbonara dishes they had eaten, and doing a little research I came up with this recipe. Not sure if it is exactly how it is made in Italy or Spain, but I can tell you it tastes ridiculously DELICIOUS!!
1 lb. Thick spaghetti (I like the brand Barilla)
1 package smoked bacon, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 ½ cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Freshly cracked black pepper
Heat a large pan over medium heat and add in chopped bacon; cook bacon until lightly browned but not too crispy. Once cooked transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess fat. Transfer drained bacon to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Stir in 2 cups of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the egg/cream mixture, once combined set mixture aside.
In a large pot, bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil (be sure to add a few pinches of salt to the water) once at a boil add in the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
Once cooked, immediately transfer the pasta to the large bowl containing the bacon. Pour the egg/cream/Parmesan mixture over the pasta and bacon. Quickly toss to completely coat the spaghetti and bacon; it should be a very “saucy” consistency.
Once tossed, crack lots of fresh black pepper over top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, toss again to combine. Sprinkle pasta with remaining ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, serve immediately…heaven awaits! ;-)