Weeknight Creamy Pasta Carbonara

My Weeknight Creamy Pasta Carbonara makes dinner simple, stress-free and delicious!

2014-10-21_3424 Weeknight Creamy Pasta Carbonara

If your kids are anything like mine, they probably love pasta carbonara! Actually, I think most people are quite fond of the flavors in carbonara. Really, what’s not to love?

Carbonara is typically made up of some combination of eggs, bacon, black pepper and grated cheese, right? Then of course there are variations that may or may not include peas, mushrooms, other vegetables and cream.

Today, my goal is to give you another variation of carbonara that is simple & delicious and easy to make any night of the week for dinner. For real!

People usually love this dish because it has those yummy, comforting flavors so many of us truly enjoy! Of course, feel free to change it up however you want to.

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How about a plate of this for dinner ? Delicious. :)

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I started with homemade fettuccine but you can use any kind of pasta you want. We all have our favorite kind of pasta!

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As usual I cooked my bacon in the oven, drained it on paper towels, and chopped it into 1/2-inch pieces. You can save yourself a huge hassle by making your bacon in the oven. It turns out great every time!

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We love the wilted spinach in this dish. However you could replace it with another vegetable if you prefer, or even use more green peas in place of the spinach entirely.

All of the above are good and good for you!

2014-10-21_3405All I have to say now is Buon Appetito! :)

Weeknight Creamy Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients:                                                                                                       2014-10-21_3424 Weeknight Creamy Pasta Carbonara

9 ounces fettuccine (homemade, refrigerated, or from box)

8 slices bacon, chopped into pieces about 1/2-inch big

4 ounces (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) light cream cheese, cubed

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chicken stock, you can use broth but stock will give you a much deeper flavor

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook bacon in oven until crisp. I strongly recommend cooking your bacon in the oven, reserving 1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Or cook bacon in skillet, discarding all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels.

2. Cook pasta according to instructions on package.

3. Add cream cheese, frozen peas, chicken stock, and Parmesan cheese to 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.  Cook on low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is combined well and heated through. Stir in spinach and allow to wilt for a few minutes.

4. Drain pasta, then place in a large bowl. Add cream cheese mixture and 1/2 of the bacon; mix lightly. Sprinkle the other 1/2 of the bacon over the top of the pasta bowl.

How to Oven Cook Bacon:

1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Be sure to use a baking sheet that has enough depth to contain the bacon drippings.

2. Lay the bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is almost really crispy. Bacon will continue cooking a bit when removed from the oven. Dry on paper towels and use as desired.

3. Place cookie sheet with bacon in oven. Place bacon in cold oven and set to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, it will usually be closer to 20 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings for sauce.

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