Having just gotten back from the Princess Half Marathon and completing the Glass Slipper Challenge, my mind is on one thing…  Pasta.

Having done two half marathons now, I know that there’s nothing in the world I want more after a long run than pasta! For the Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013, all I wanted was spaghetti. Seriously, I craved it for days, and I never, ever crave spaghetti. This time, I was all about rich and flavorful pastas. Something like Alfredo, without the heaviness.

While researching Disney pasta recipes, I came across the perfect recipe to fill my craving: spaghetti carbonara.  Pasta, bacon, eggs… Pretty much my dream post-race food.  What’s not to love?

Spaghetti carbonara has been featured around Disney World in a variety of places. Perhaps the most popular of these is at Art of Animation Resort’s Landscape of Flavors Food Court. Despite being the newest resort to the Disney family, this recipe has undergone a couple of changes during its short time as a featured chef’s favorite featured pasta dish.

Originally a dish made up of a egg-based cream sauce with bacon and onions (sometimes peas), it has evolved into a cream sauce with a prosciutto and bacon mix and broccoli (yuck). Variations of this dish have also been served at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney, and a more refined version, sans broccoli but with truffle oil and using pancetta instead of bacon is available at The Swan’s Il Mulino.

The version of the recipe I used is the original recipe featured at Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors both because that’s the most popular version of the dish, and because I can’t stand broccoli… Meaning I really didn’t want to make the newer and current broccoli-tainted version (did I say yuck already?). However, with very little effort, this recipe can be easily tweaked to be the more refined dish featured at Il Mulino.

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All very good things. But secondly, it’s unbelievably rich and luxurious tasting. Flavorful, creamy, and a great variety of textures, plus a slam dunk for anybody who loves bacon. I admit, I cooked the bacon until it was very crisp, while the restaurant versions tend to not cook the bacon as long for a softer texture.

Really, it’s all personal preference. I prefer super crunchy bacon, but for those who like something a little less crisp, cook the bacon until it’s warmed through, cooked, but not crispy.

I think the only change I’d make to this recipe is using less pasta for a more bacon and cream flavor. Or the same amount of pasta, but more bacon. Because really, is there such a thing as too much bacon?

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Spaghetti Carbonara

As is served at Landscape of Flavors Food Court, Art of Animation Resort

  •  1 pound spaghetti
  •   1 lb bacon, chopped
  •   1/2 cup onion, chopped
  •   2 cloves garlic, minced
  •   2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
  •   2 tablespoons heavy cream
  •   1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •   Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, add pasta and cook until al dente (or slightly under desired doneness).

While the pasta is boiling, cook bacon in a separate skillet. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Return skillet to heat, cook onions until translucent, then add garlic, cooking only until aromatic, about 1 minute or less. Add to bacon mixture, set aside.Combine eggs, heavy cream, beat until mixed. Set aside.

Drain and rinse pasta in warm water, return pasta to pot. Turn heat to medium-low. Drizzle in heavy cream and egg mixture and toss until coated, making sure that pasta is thoroughly warmed. Add reserved bacon fat, bacon, and onions. Fold in Parmesan cheese. Toss until incorporated and pasta is warm. Serve immediately.

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** To serve Il Mulino version, cook bacon and drain, discarding bacon fat.  Add Marsala wine to bacon pan along with onions to delgaze pan. Cook onions until translucent, add garlic and cook until aromatic. Substitute 3 tablespoons truffle oil for bacon fat and toss in pasta and prepare as above, making sure to add wine reduction along with onions to pasta dish.


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