*Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by ALDI, however all thoughts and opinions are expressly my own.
Linguine alla Carbonara
I grew up accompanying my mother on trips to the grocery store. I always loved going. Riding in the cart, the endless aisles, colorful products and towering displays were a sight to behold at any young age. I didn’t know much about the different grocery stores there were or what they had to offer, but I knew as a family, we were budget conscious. My mother raised my four siblings and me on her own and that meant that every penny counted. We spent years hopping around from store to store. Eventually, we heard about a new store coming to town and mom wasted no time checking it out. When ALDI finally opened, I remember it instantly became her grocery store of choice. Once the first ALDI store in the DC metro area opened in our town, it became the place to go if you were looking to maximize your dollar. This was a long time ago, but I remember it as plain as day: being excited by putting the quarter in the cart dispenser and handing the cashier our cash at check out, excitedly counting the change after our transaction. Boxing up groceries was even fun. I have fond memories of ALDI as a child.
As a young adult, I lived for a bit in Europe. When I lived in Belgium, it was my favorite grocery store. There was an ALDI just a few metro stops from my home, so it was convenient for walking and commuting. As an au pair, I had to be conscious of my spending. Making 600 euros a month wasn’t a lot at twenty-one years old and ALDI was how I managed to not go broke month after month.
Fast forward to now and we are homeowners with a baby on the way. We are health conscious and budget conscious. I have a hormone issue, so I prefer to eat antibiotic and additive-free foods as not to disrupt my already delicate hormone balance. When I learned ALDI offered organic produce, hormone and antibiotic-free meats as well as gluten-free items, we hurriedly made a trip to our local ALDI. I hadn’t been to ALDI in such a long time that going back felt like a whole new experience. The prices were just as good as ever, but their introduction of health-conscious product lines had my husband and me over the moon. It’s safe to say, we found our place.
I had a lot of ideas about what recipe to make for this blog post. My husband lived in Rome and, thus, is a huge fan of good pasta. When deciding what recipe to share on the blog, the choice was clear: what would make my husband happy? Linguine alla Carbonara. That’s not all: and a wine pairing. I’m just that nice.
The recipe for Linguine Carbonara is unbelievably simple, but it’s all about timing. If you time this right, you’ll be golden. In the directions below, you will find instructions on when to start cooking your bacon while the pasta boils. If you start the bacon too late and it finishes later than the pasta, the creaminess of the pasta will yield a different consistency. The trick? You will want to be sure to utilize all of the bacon fat and oil left in the pan while it is still hot and liquidy. This is why we time the bacon and pasta to finish cooking at the same time. In place of peas, I added SimplyNature Organic Spinach from ALDI because pregnant ladies need all the nutrients and greens they can get. Right?
As for the wine pairing, I’m not a huge wine drinker but I am a diehard lover of Riesling. I recently tried Landshut Riesling for the first time ($4.99 at ALDI. Yep. Yep. Don’t freak out.) and I knew this was the wine for this dish. Not to mention, the Beverage Testing Institute rated it an 88 out of 100. So yeah, I’m pretty happy about this $4.99 bottle of wine. A white wine (many would go with a Pinot Grigio for this dish, however it doesn’t suit my tastes) is ideal for a dish of this style so if Riesling isn’t your favorite, you could try any dry white wine of your choosing.
Are you hungry yet? Let’s dig in. Also, if a brand is mentioned in the list below, you can pick it up at ALDI. Find your local ALDI store here.
Linguine alla Carbonara
Total time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 16 oz. SimplyNature Organic Linguine
- 5 slices of Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon or 5 oz. Appleton Farms Diced Pancetta, cut into ½” cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Eggs
- 1 c. SimplyNature Organic Spinach
- 1 c. Priano Parmesan Cheese, grated + more for garnishing
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
- Stonmill Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
to be served with: Landshut Riesling
Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
While waiting for water to boil, mix 1 cup Parmesan and 2 eggs in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Chop garlic and set aside. Cut bacon and set aside.
Once water begins to boil, add pasta to water and cook 9-10 minutes, or until al dente.
Timing is very important here. 4 minutes before your pasta is done, put olive oil and bacon in skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. During the final minute, add garlic and cook with the bacon. Take off heat. Your pasta should be done at the same time.
Drain pasta, but reserve ¾ c. and set aside. Return to cooking pot.
Pour Parmesan and egg mixture into the pasta, along with the bacon and garlic. Be sure to scrape all the oil from the bottom of the bacon pan and mix in the pasta. Pour ¼ c. of reserved pasta water at a time into the pasta and mix well until you achieve your desired consistency.
Add 1 c. spinach while pasta is still piping hot to wilt and soften spinach texture. Mix generously.
Top with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve in individual bowls with a glass of Landshut Riesling. Enjoy!