Someone once told me they didn’t like Spaghetti Carbonara because it’s boring. So, I came up with this recipe—adding six-month aged Cheddar and 12-month aged Gouda to the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano. Red pepper flakes with the hickory smoked flavor of Santa Maria Style Seasoning ensures this Carbonara is far from lackluster. It’s quick comfort food and I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen to throw this together when unexpected drop-ins stay for dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 lb penne (or spaghetti)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 slices thick cut bacon or pancetta diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated
- 1/3 cup six-month aged Gouda finely grated
- 1/8 cup fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Santa Maria Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes to season
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the rigatoni (or spaghetti) until just al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream. In a large, deep skillet, add the bacon (or pancetta) and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp, 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and once tender, add garlic and cook until golden, 1 minute.
- Add the penne (or choice of pasta) to the skillet. Cook over low heat, tossing, until coated. Slowly add the reserved pasta cooking water and beaten egg yolks. Toss until coated with a creamy sauce, about 1 minute. Add the cheeses and the nutmeg; season with black pepper, Santa Maria Style Seasoning and red pepper flakes. Transfer to bowls and serve with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.