Before we get started, I’d like to confess that I have NEVER made a “real” Carbonara. The creaminess of this pasta traditionally comes from egg yolks. From what I’ve researched, there is always bacon or pancetta and parmesan cheese is a MUST.
While googling carbonara the question “is spaghetti carbonara good for you?” popped up in the search bar. I’ll save you some time and say NO. I mean, there are worse things you can have, but this is definitely a decadent dish. Even though I replaced the egg yolks with avocado (both “good” fats), it’s still full of “bad” fat, bacon, bacon grease, cheese and carbs. Usually I go for rice pasta, whole grain or even lentil pasta but for this one I splurged and just did REGULAR OLD SPAGHETTI.
Let’s just get this out of the way. You COULD do this without bacon to make it vegetarian. You COULD do it without bacon and cheese and sub nutritional yeast to make it vegan. You COULD use a pasta alternative such a spaghetti squash or zoodles to make it low carb and gluten free. BUT IF YOU’RE ALLOWED TO EAT ALL THESE FUN THINGS AND ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO THEM, TREAT YOUR DAMN SELF OKAY?!
Let’s get down to business.
Julia’s Avocado Carbonara
Serves 2 people (generously)
1 medium avocado (2 small or one large could also work)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (the fresh stuff! not the non refrigerated powdered crap)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP lemon juice
4 pieces of bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 package (or so) spaghetti or noodle of choice
1/2 cup pasta water
Salt, pepper, chili flakes, parlsey and parmesan to taste.
- Prep all ingredients
- Pan fry bacon until nice and crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside on paper towel.
- Boil water. Cook pasta according to instructions.
- While pasta is cooking fry garlic over medium heat in the bacon fat for one minute. Take off heat so it doesn’t burn.
- Add avocado, parmesan, salt, pepper and lemon to a blender. When pasta is al dente, drain but make sure to reserve at least 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water.
- Add about 1/4 cup pasta water to blender with the other ingredients and give it a whirl. If it seems to thick, add more pasta water. You want it to have the consistency of a thick alfredo sauce.
- Warm the pan with the bacon fat/garlic combo for a minute and add the pasta, pinch of parsley and avocado sauce to it. Toss well. Taste and add more salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed. Or some more pasta water to loosen it up.
- Plate and top with more parmesan, parsley, chili flakes and bacon. Enjoy immediately!
WOWOWOWOWOWOWOOWOWOW! This was so good. It’s exactly what I wanted and what I needed. The creamy avocado pairs wonderfully with the salty parmesan and the crisp meaty bacon and you get a punch of brightness and acid from the lemon! The parsley added a fresh, clean zip of flavour and a good twist of pepper and chili flakes give it some attitude. I definitely ate more than I should have. The sauce could probably serve 4 portions of pasta but I was VERY hungry and felt like indulging. NO REGRETS! I served this with a caesar salad which was probably overkill to be honest, but a nice garden salad with a red wine vinaigrette would be lovely. Or you could add some sautéed mushrooms and asparagus if you’re trying to up your veggie intake!
This pasta dish is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party and easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. What are you waiting for? GO EAT THIS AND SHUT UP! 😉