Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water (may need more)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

2. Cook the bacon and Brussels sprouts: While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pan. Add the Brussel sprouts to the hot pan with the bacon grease and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes more, or until softened and slightly browned. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

3. Prepare the sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper until creamy and well combined.

4. Assemble the carbonara: Remove the skillet from the heat. Gradually add the hot, cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat in the bacon grease and Brussels sprouts. Slowly pour in the egg mixture, tossing continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce appears too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to create a silky consistency. Add the cooked bacon back in.

5. Finishing touches: Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve immediately topped with additional Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Tips

Fresh is best: Use freshly grated Parmesan for optimum flavor.

Don’t overheat the sauce: The key to creamy carbonara is cooking off the heat and adding the egg mixture slowly. This prevents the eggs from curdling.

Make it vegetarian: For a meatless version, omit the bacon and add a tablespoon of olive oil with the Brussels sprouts.

Adjust the pasta water: The pasta water will help the sauce adhere to the pasta and create a beautiful, silky texture. Add a bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

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