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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Creamy Tortellini Carbonara


Cheese-filled tortellini in a parmesan-romano sauce, topped with crisp bacon pieces. My version of Creamy Tortellini Carbonara is so good all I have left to say is – Buon Apetito!

creamy totellini carbonara_002

Think of those yummy creamy Italian sauces made with lots of love, and that’s what you get here with my Creamy Tortellini Carbonara. But no heavy cream, and I love that. :)

This sauce is like so many wonderful sauces you’ve had before, but at the same time it’s something just a little different.

I tell you guys all the time, I tell it like it is, so here it is. On one of several days in a row with a -25 windchill, it was just too cold to go to the grocery store. Okay, okay, I just didn’t want to go out again into the tundra.

So, I made a sauce I knew they would love. Something warm, a little heavier but not too rich, plus I know what they like.

I knew I hit the mark when my youngest asked me if I made this!? He does that all the time when he really likes something. Who made this? No, really who made this? Is what he usually says. Or did you make this? That one always makes me chuckle.

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Spaghetti Carbonara


Spaghetti Carbonara

This is a total comfort dish at our house! :)

It has been very cold here lately, and we all needed a little warm, yummy comfort food tonight. When I say cold, I mean cold. We all have our weather to deal with and here in Minnesota winter is always tough.

Just in case you’re curious – here is our local weather forecast.

WIND CHILL ADVISORY: Expect dangerously cold wind chill values of -30 to -40. Bundle up. 

If you’re wondering what -30 to -40 is, that’s 30 to 40 degrees below zero!

We needed some comfort food here and this without a doubt is one of our absolute family favorites! One day I was in my car and I heard just a snippit of an interview with Ruth Reichl on Public Radio. She said she hasn’t met a child yet who doesn’t like this dish.

Like a cat, my ears stood up right away, I am always very curious when someone makes this claim because, yes we do have one very picky eater at our house. His issue seems to be with texture more than flavor.

Anyhoo, I digress.

As I listened a little more to the interview I thought hmm, these ingredients are so simple and so basic. My son might actually eat this, and I know my other pasta- loving fella’s will too.

I just didn’t expect everyone to like it as much as they do!

So let’s talk pasta…


No Name is a local brand, if they don’t carry it in your part of the country that’s fine. Just make sure you purchase thickly sliced good quality bacon.

Don’t worry about the green dot. That just means it was part of a Stock Up & Save Sale @ my local grocery store. Thick Sliced Peppered Bacon is always my first choice, but we were out. This is all that was left in the freezer.


A close up shot of the yummy pasta just waiting to be eaten. :)


Spaghetti Carbonara


1 pound spaghetti

1/4 to 1/2 pound thickly sliced good quality bacon

2 cloves garlic, peeled – garlic cloves work best, but if you don’t keep those on hand garlic powder can be used, don’t use garlic salt

2 large eggs (take out of the fridge about 30 minutes before making this dish; set aside in a safe place)

Black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the spaghetti, and a generous amount of sea salt, or kosher salt. Most dried spaghetti takes 9 to 10 minutes to cook, and you can make the sauce in that time. Check the side of the pasta box for exact cooking time.

2. Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, until fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon just begin to crisp. Don’t overcook; if they get too crisp they won’t meld with the pasta. Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat them with a fork. Add some grindings of freshly ground black pepper.

* I always over cook the bacon a little. We don’t care about it melding to the pasta. Cook the bacon however you prefer.

3. Remove the garlic from the bacon pan. If it looks like too much to you, discard some, but you’re going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the past. When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

*Note: Usually I never using bacon drippings in my cooking, but it’s worth it here. That’s why you use a good quality bacon, usually there is less fat.

*Also when I serve this dish to my family we just go with the regular Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese. However, if we’re having company and serving this dish I will pick up a small block of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Make 3 servings – that’s what the recipe says, however this makes more than enough for four people.

What’s for Dinner Tonight?

Spaghetti Carbonara: main course

Adapted from: Ruth Reichl.com

Tossed Salad: purchase your favorite bagged salad combo 

Garlic Bread: make or purchase your family’s favorite 

Dulce de Leche Swirl Brownies


Buon appetito! Come back soon!



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