A strict Carbonara requires only eggs, bacon, pepper, Parmesan and a little olive oil. Of course, once you know the rules of Italian cooking, you can break them! That's exactly what we're doing tonight with our addition of vibrant green spinach and toasted pine nuts for an irresistible crunch!
baby spinach leaves
(Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, Propolis)
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese. Chop the bacon into 1 cm cubes. Finely slice the red onion. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
Add the spaghetti (use the suggested amount) to the saucepan of boiling water and cook for 9 minutes, or until ‘al dente’. Note: Be sure to add the correct amount of pasta in order for your dish to be perfectly balanced, just the way we planned it! TIP: Stirring the pasta regularly will ensure it doesn't stick. Reserve some cooking water (1/2 cup for 2 people/ 1 cup for 4 people), drain the pasta and return to the saucepan. Drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add the grated Parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish!) and season with a pinch of pepper. Mix well and set aside.
In a second medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil (1 tbs for 2 people/ 2 tbs for 4 people). Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Return the pan to a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil and the bacon. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Add the red onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
Add the spaghetti to the pan with the bacon and toss to coat. Add ½ of the baby spinach leaves and stir through for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from the heat and pour in the parmesan-egg mixture and the reserved cooking water. Mix well to combine. TIP: If the sauce looks too thick, add a dash more water until it's creamy. TIP: Removing the pan from the heat before adding the egg is important to stop the eggs from scrambling. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Divide the spaghetti alla carbonara between bowls. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and any reserved Parmesan cheese. Add the remaining baby spinach leaves to the bowl with the honey-balsamic dressing, toss to coat and serve on the side.