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Spaghetti Carbonara
with bacon / spinach / mushrooms

Active: 40 Total: 40
Pasta Carbonara is one of those classic Italian dishes that feels fancy but uses easy-to-find ingredients. Once you've learned to make it, you'll turn to it again and again as a delicious and quick weeknight meal. This version with mushrooms and spinach was last featured in 2019.
Smarts: Be sure to combine the pasta and eggs when the pasta is still very hot - it will gently "cook" the eggs into a creamy sauce.


Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach and Mushrooms:
  • Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , grated
  • Bacon - 6 strips , chopped
  • Mushrooms, any button - 8 oz , sliced (look for pre-sliced to save time)
  • Spinach, any type - 5 oz , roughly chopped
  • Eggs - 2
  • Egg yolks - 1 (discard egg whites)
  • Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
  • Pasta, spaghetti or linguini - 10 oz
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp


  1. Cheese / Bacon - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Mushrooms / Spinach - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Make sauce - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, cheese, and lemon zest. (You want this sauce ready to go so that it can be tossed with pasta just after it finishes cooking.)

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  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil. (If you've never made carbonara before, check out this video.)
  2. While water boils, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and saute until bacon is crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
  3. Drain off all but 1 Tbsp / 15 mL of bacon grease from the pan. Return pan to heat. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are tender and brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. While mushrooms cook, keep an eye on the pot of water. When water is boiling, add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Reserve 1/4 cup (59 mL) of pasta water (for 4 servings, adjust accordingly).
  5. Return to mushrooms and season with some salt. Add spinach and saute until spinach is wilted, ~3 minutes more. Turn off heat under the pan.
  6. Working quickly so that the pasta stays hot, drain pasta.
  7. Add hot pasta and reserved pasta water to egg sauce. Toss vigorously with tongs or two forks until eggs coat the pasta, creating a creamy sauce. (The eggs will “cook” from the heat of the pasta.)
  8. Stir in spinach and mushrooms. Season with some salt.
  9. Transfer carbonara to serving plates. Top with black pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), and bacon. Enjoy!



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