Broccoli Bacon Carbonara
- 16 ounces dried linguine
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 6 thick-cut slices pepper bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided
- 1 ½ cup fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kosher salt and linguine, and finish cooking the pasta according to package directions to reach an "al dente" texture.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the pepper bacon pieces in a skillet set over medium heat until crisp. Turn off the heat. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb drippings. Pour the excess bacon drippings from the skillet into a glass jar and refrigerate for another use. Do not wipe out the skillet - it should glisten with the remaining drippings.
Return the skillet to stove set on medium-low heat and sauté the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic to the softened onions, continuing to sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, and top the crisped bacon with the onions and garlic.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs into the milk until they're well incorporated and the mixture is a fluid, sunny yellow color. By this time, the linguine should be finished cooking. Remove the pasta pot from the heat and scoop it out of the pot into a large colander to drain. DO NOT pour out the pasta water! A large pasta scoop works well to remove the pasta from the water.
Toss the broccoli florets into the hot pasta water to blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dump the hot, drained linguine into a large bowl. Slowly drizzle the milk/egg mixture over the hot pasta, while simultaneously turning the pasta quickly with a pair of tongs to coat. Once all of the milk/egg mixture has been added to the pasta, sprinkle 3/4 cups of the Parmesan cheese over it and continue to rapidly toss the pasta. The heat of the linguine will cook the eggs as the pasta is tossed, so keep it up for a couple of minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the blanched broccoli to the pasta bowl. Add the onions, garlic, and crisp bacon to the bowl, and continue tossing the linguine until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste a piece of the saucy linguine. Adjust the flavor to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Serve immediately with the reserved Parmesan cheese.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.