If there's one food I'll never ever never tire of, it's pasta. From spaghetti to bow tie to little elbows, pasta is at the heart of so many of those family dishes we gather to celebrate over.
In case you didn't know, October is National Pasta Month, and today, October 17th, is National Pasta Day. To celebrate, we're sharing one of our most classic, easiest, most delicious pasta dinner party recipes with you!
Pasta Carbonara is one of the most luscious recipes I've ever made and it's also one of the easiest. Don't be intimidated by the egg part as it always works out a whole lot simpler than you go in thinking.
Though the classic prep calls for heavy cream being added to the mix, I nix it to give the dish a lighter, yet just as creamy taste. The key is in using really fresh eggs.
When I make it for a dinner party, I toss in some mushrooms to beef up the dish both in flavor and texture - it feeds and totally satisfies a large crowd on a pretty small budget.
1 pound Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat spaghetti*
12 strips of bacon
1 10-ounce container of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large fresh eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
*You can use whatever pasta you'd like, but long thin pasta works best for the dish and I've found whole wheat adds even more flavor and texture to the dish.
Prepare your ingredients as much as you can before you cook. Slice the mushrooms, chop up the shallot and mince the garlic, set aside. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta and chop up 8 of the bacon slices into 1 inch cubes. Reserve 4 whole pieces.
Heat a large skillet - you'll need a large one! - but don't but any oil in it. Cook the 4 whole slices of bacon first in the pan, then add in the chopped pieces and brown. Once crispy, place the bacon slices and bits on a plate lined with paper to drain. Remove half of the bacon fat rendered in the pan.
Over a medium heat, saute your garlic and onion together in the reserve bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Then, add in your sliced mushrooms. Toss and allow them to cook for a bit. Meanwhile, season your boiling water with salt and add in your pasta.
At this point, add your bacon bits only back to the mushroom, shallot and garlic mixture in your pan. Once the pasta has reached the al dente stage, use tongs to add it to the mushroom-bacon mix. Toss, then add in two ladles (or so) worth of your pasta water. Remove the pan from the heat.
While that cools a bit, crack your four large eggs in a medium sized glass bowl and add to it your Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Beat together with a fork - and try to blend as best as you can. Ideally, you want a creamy, lump free mix.
Gradually pour in your egg and cheese mixture to the pasta pan, stirring and mixing at the same time. The residual heat from the pasta water, ingredients and pan will cook the egg, but creates a creamy sauce.
Once mixed, divide into 4 serving bowls and crumble one bacon slice per bowl atop the pasta.