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Course: Cook Like A Chef Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach

byKatie Button
Total 45 mins, includes cooling time
Active 45 mins
Makes 4 servings
Pasta carbonara is one of my go-to weeknight family dishes. In this recipe I add spinach, but you can use almost any leftover cooked vegetable – roasted broccoli or asparagus cut into bite-size pieces work great. It is a delicious, hearty dinner that kids go crazy for and comes together in minutes.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or substitute 1/2 cup pecorino romano and 1/2 cup Parmesan)
  • 1 lemon, zested, and quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces slab bacon, cut 1/4 inch thick then crosswise into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
    1. Whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large, heat-safe bowl; set aside.
    2. Combine 1 gallon water with 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook as directed on the package, usually 10 to 12 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon and cook, tossing occasionally, until the bacon is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. When crispy, move the bacon to one side of the pan and add the garlic to the empty side. Tilt the pan so the oil streams to the other side and fries the garlic until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss the spinach into the pan and turn off the heat. Allow the spinach to wilt slightly, leaving the pan on the stove with the heat off.
    4. Once the spaghetti is cooked to al dente, set aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Quickly drain the spaghetti then transfer to the large pan. Toss over medium-high heat until the pasta is completely coated and everything is hot.
    5. Quickly pour the contents of the pan into the large bowl with the Parmesan mixture. Stir vigorously with tongs, adding 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water at a time and stirring after each addition until the sauce is creamy – you may not use all of the reserved pasta liquid.
    6. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and juice from 1 quarter of a lemon.