If you've read this blog for any length of time you know how much I love carbonara. I discovered it with a good friend when we were studying abroad and have been in love with it ever since. When I saw Kicked-Up Carbonara on Cassie's blog I knew it would be a winner in my book.
I made a few changes in order to incorporate some of the flavors I love from my traditional carbonara recipe (sliced onion and vermouth) and swapped fresh tomato for the red pepper since neither of us are big pepper fans. The result was utterly delicious - rich and creamy, with a bright burst from the tomatoes. I also loved the addition of the spinach. Carbonara is my guilty pleasure, so if I can add some veggies in it makes me feel better about eating it. Thanks again, Cassie!
Adapted from Cassie Craves
1 pound linguine or spaghetti
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup vermouth
2 cups fresh baby spinach
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to pan.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add vermouth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; boil gently, uncovered, 3 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add spinach and cook 1 minute, or until wilted. Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat the pasta with the syrupy liquid.
In medium bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg and Pecorino cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Off heat (this is very important or the eggs will scramble) add egg mixture to skillet and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes. Taste and season with more salt, pepper or cheese, if necessary and serve immediately.