Today’s meal has been provided by the generous sponsorship of Cappello’s Gluten Free Pasta.
I saw this pasta winking at me from the freezer section at Natural Grocers a few months ago. It called to me. It asked me to take it home and work some paleo pasta magic. I ignored it, though. I kept rolling down the aisle, but the pasta stayed with me.
Fast forward to March in Los Angeles. I stopped by the Cappello’s booth at a trade show to sample their products, and fell in love instantly. The pasta was fresh, tender, and flavorful. It was also filling and gave me great little energy boost.
After leaving Cappello’s booth, I started scheming immediately about what I would put on the pasta. Of course, pasta carbonara was first on my list.
I fell in love with pasta carbonara in Venice, Itlay, where my best friends and I packed around a tiny table in a tiny restaurant off a tiny alley where the waiter didn’t know English and we didn’t know Italian but we all knew food and wine and he brought us his favorite dishes and bottles. We ate for hours. Tasting, sampling, sharing, exclaiming, laughing, drinking, pantomiming with our Venetian waiter, and eventually, closing the restaurant down.
Of the 12 (!) dishes we sampled that night, the pasta carbonara has stayed with me a decade later. That, and our fun walk back to the hotel in the chilly December air feeling carefree, and totally high on good food and wine and lifelong friendship. Because Italy.
For my American Paleo-ized version, I wanted to infuse robust flavor and play on the richness of the eggs and tenderness of the pasta. It’s kind of like mac and cheese, but for adults.
Although I took many liberties in creating this recipe and veered far from that original carbonara in Venice, the integrity and heart behind the dish is still there. When I shared this with friends, every single person was blown away and could NOT STOP EATING IT. If you’re a home cook, this is probably the highest compliment anyone can give you.
So, I give you Smokey Bacon Jalapeño Carbonara. It’s a little bit Italian, a little bit American, and a whole lot of comfort.
- 12 ounces of pasta (I used Cappello’s paleo fettucini noodles)
- 8 pieces thick cut bacon, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 whole eggs
- 3/4 cups very finely grated parmesan cheese (if you want to be totally paleo here, skip this and add 1-2 extra egg yolks)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 medium jalapeños
- 4 fresh basil leaves, ribboned
- Fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain most of the grease, but leave a little for frying the onions and garlic.
- Return the pan to stove. Cook onions and garlic on medium heat until golden brown, and set aside.
- While the onions and garlic are cooking, roast the jalapeños under the broiler, turning often until soft and slightly blistered. De-stem and scrape out seeds (unless you want more spice, then leave some seeds in) and dice the roasted jalapeño.
- In a bowl, mix together eggs, parmesan, and salt and pepper until incorporated.
- Take freshly cooked pasta (still piping hot) and place in a large bowl. While pasta is still steaming hot, slowly pour in the egg mixture while continuously stirring the pasta. The sauce will thicken up (the eggs are cooking!) and coat the pasta. If it gets too thick, pour a little pasta water into the bowl until you reach the desired consistency.
- Halfway through drizzling in the egg mixture, add all the other ingredients. Bacon, jalapeño, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Continue mixing and adding the egg mixture.
- Top with fresh basil, lots of fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.
You will thank yourself for making this. Seriously.
Oh, and do you want to try a box of Cappello’s pasta on us? Enter to win the giveaway now with the rafflecopter and we will announce the winner on Tuesday, May 5th.