Carbonara is one of my favorite pasta sauces. What’s not to like about bacon, eggs, and Parmesan cheese? After making a buckwheat pasta, cabbage, and Parmesan cheese dish last year that was surprisingly tasty, I decided to try carbonara on Brussels sprouts. I also added cremini mushrooms since I had them on hand. Traditionally carbonara is made with unsmoked pork cheek bacon, but any bacon can be used. I prefer thick cut bacon cut into a small dice. Starchy water reserved from cooking pasta is usually used to thin down the sauce so it’ll coat the pasta better, but I prefer the extra flavor, texture, and fat provided by heavy cream. Water can be used to deglaze the pan if you don’t have white wine or broth available.
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs white wine or chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Minced fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
In a large sauté pan, cook diced bacon until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon, leaving fat. Deglaze the pan with white wine or broth. Add Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until Brussels sprouts reach desired doneness, I like mine still slightly crunchy. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Remove Brussels sprouts and mushrooms from the heat, return the bacon to the pan, and pour egg and cheese mixture over it. Toss until the vegetables and bacon are evenly coated in sauce and the residual heat from the pan has cooked the eggs and melted the cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving, if desired.