Do you ever look around your fridge and pantry and say to yourself, “What in the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight?
Maybe you’re down to the bare bones and have just a few random things OR you’re tired, it’s Monday and you can’t imagine going to the grocery store after the day you’ve had. Admittedly, I was BOTH those people today.
6 p.m rolled around, I’ve already put in a 12 hour day, had school, have a toddler, and ya know…..LIFE happened and I knew the baby and I had to eat something so I started creeping through my kitchen and realized I had the 5 essential ingredients to whip up some traditional Roman carbonara.
Immediately, my heart was happy!
As you can see from the picture above, I didn’t use spaghetti like the “real deal” Italian version calls for, but better for me, I made a TODDLER FRIENDLY and TODDLER APPROVED version using elbow macaroni.
Follow along as I walk you through this easy-breazy recipe that even the most novice cook can make!
- 1 box of elbow macaroni or 1 package of pasta of your choice
- 8-9 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
- Parmesan cheese
- Romano cheese
- Salt, freshly cracked black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- Fill your pasta pot with water, add a few tablespoons of salt and get that baby BOILING! Once you have a rolling boil, add your macaroni and cook to your desired doneness–I prefer al dente (slightly firm).
- While your water is boiling/pasta is cooking, cut your 8-9 slices of bacon into 1 inch pieces. They may seem like large pieces now but when they cook down they will shrink into the perfect size. Cook them until your desired doneness. I like my bacon somewhere between soft and slighly crispy. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the skillet and lay it on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Additionally, while the pasta and bacon are cooking, mix up your egg mixture. Crack two whole eggs and two egg yolks into a mixing bowl. Wisk until it looks like scrambled eggs. Add in 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. If you don’t have grated cheese, don’t fret, it’ll melt once you combine it with the warm pasta.
- Add some spices to your egg mixture like 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and a pinch of red pepper flakes….stir into the egg mixture.
- Before you drain your pasta using a colander in the sink, reserve 1 cup of water and set it aside.
- Drain your pasta in the sink and immediately return it to the hot pot.
- Don’t place the pot back on the hot burner you just used, but set it just nearby. Immediately add in the egg mixture, stirring QUICKLY so that the eggs don’t scramble on the bottom of the pot.
- Then, adding 1-2 tablespoons at a time, stir in the reserved pasta water, making sure to mix it well. What you’ll have is a cheesy sauce–if it looks a little chunky don’t be discouraged, it’s supposed to be that way.
- Taste the pasta and add additional salt as necessary.
- Serve the macaroni carbonara in individual bowls, top it with bacon, more Parmesan and LOTS OF FRESHLY CRACKED BLACK PEPPER!