There are several things I can fall back on that I know my girls will eat: my chicken cutlets, pasta with pesto, and pasta with butter and cheese. When something new hits the menu, it’s generally because they ate something at their friend’s house at a playdate or sleepover. O has discovered Pasta with Carbonara Sauce at our local pizzeria because her friend ordered it, then O had a taste and instantly loved it. Who wouldn’t?
I received an email while I was in the playground from weelicious. I opened it up while we were in the playground and jumped for joy when I read, “Lightened Up Spaghetti Carbonara”. I yelled for O to come to me and I read her the recipe and she excitedly said that I needed to make it for lunch. Well, who was I to say, “NO.” On the way home, we stopped off a the grocery store and picked up the ingredients.
Since then, I’ve made this recipe three times and the girls (and the hubby and I) have eaten ALL of it. No leftovers whatsoever. Below is the recipe from weelicous, with my editorial comments in italics.
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound turkey bacon, chopped (I used real bacon, but made sure to cut off a lot of the fat.)
1 small onion, diced (Use less if your kids don’t like onions — they’ll definitely see the onions in this recipe.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (Make sure you use fresh Parmesan cheese. Save the rind in a baggie for soups later!)
1 cup reserved pasta water*
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta back into the cooking pot.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the bacon for five minutes. Add the garlic and onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. (I did this step first, since it takes a while to cook the bacon. I used real bacon and made sure I cut most of the fat off.)
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese. Quickly (so it doesn’t curdle) mix the egg/cheese mixture into the cooked pasta. Then, mix in the bacon and onions and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water.*
4. Toss to coat well and serve immediately.
* The pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it sits, so if you won’t be serving it right away, add an additional 1/2 cup of warm pasta water just prior to serving.
I serve this dish with greens to balance out the pasta and bacon. A side salad with a vinaigrette, cut up veggies with ranch dressing, or steamed beans or broccoli work well.
What are your go-to family meals?