Cook Local – BLT Spaghetti Carbonara
Have you found your favorite Farmer’s Market? Hopefully you have and it’s quite near your home! I most often frequent the Kaiser Wednesday morning Market because it is close to my home and I can go in the morning when it’s still cool, but there are so many in our area, I’m hoping you’ve been inspired to visit and pick out/pick up some of the amazing produce grown locally!
Today I wanted to offer you a quick 30 minute meal – you’ll find everything you need at the Farmer’s Market and you might just have everything you need right now in your fridge & pantry! BLT Spaghetti Carbonara is a yummy, easy meal!
BLT = Bacon, lettuce & tomato (though often I use spinach), eggs, pasta and parmesan cheese. Like I said, you probably have everything already and this hearty meal will easily serve six!
- 8-10 slices thick cut bacon
- 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 head romaine lettuce or 2 cups spinach, chopped. (You can also use 2 cups chopped kale*, see notes below),
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced (2 if small)
- 1/4 cup basil, torn or cut into strips – a chiffonade
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus an additional 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top at the end.
- 1 13.5 oz package dry spaghetti
- 1 cup spaghetti cooking liquid
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cut the bacon into lardons and place in a cold pan on the stove (this is a great time to use your cast iron skillet, it crisps up the bacon so nicely). Turn the heat onto medium to medium/low and cook the bacon until crisp.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions to al-dente’. You’ll want to time this to get done about the same time the onions are finished sautéing.
- Add the parmesan cheese to a bowl, crack both of the eggs into the parmesan and mix it together well, set aside.
- Time to chop the vegetables. Chop the onion, tomatoes, lettuce and mince the garlic. When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan. Drain some of the bacon grease from the pan, keep a little more than a tablespoon in the pan. Also keep all of those good bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan – love that flavor! Increase the heat to medium. Next add the onions and sauté. *If you choose to use kale instead of romaine lettuce, add it to the pan at the same time as the onions and sauté’. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes until they become translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for about a minute.
- By now the pasta should be done and ready to drain. Keep one cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the rest. Turn the heat off in the saute pan and add the hot pasta to the pan. Then immediately add the egg-parmesan mixture and start mixing to combine. After about 2 minutes, add in the bacon, tomatoes and romaine lettuce – continue mixing. You’ll need to add water as you’re mixing – probably nearly all of it to loosen up the sauce. The pasta should be silky in texture, not clumpy and stuck together, you’ll get that by adding the pasta water in bit by bit.
- Mix it together with a pair of tongs – it seems like it takes a long time to mix, but really give it 3-4 minutes of good mixing, it spreads the flavors thru-out the pasta. Finishing by adding several twists of freshly ground black pepper and sprinkling on the basil and additional parmesan cheese (if desired).