Bacon and Parmesan Pasta

Bacon and Parmesan Pasta

Bacon recipes always get my attention.

I stop dead in my tracks when I stumble across bacon pasta recipes.

Unfortunately, I always end up sadly shaking my head. I’m willing to splurge a little here and there, but those recipes are so overly loaded with other bad things like cream and butter, that I just can’t bring myself to try them.

Recently, I decided it was time to actually search for a “lighter” bacon pasta. I needed a recipe that could put bacon on my weekly menu…not just my special occasion menu.

After seeing several options, it was clear that the trick to a lighter carbonara-type sauce is to use tempered eggs.

Tempering eggs sounded like a fancy chef idea to me. I am not a fancy chef.  Thank goodness, it actually just meant that I had to pour in a little hot water before cooking the eggs. Raising their temperature a little keeps the eggs from scrambling as soon as heat hits the pan. I can do that!

So, now I present to you a recipe that is super easy, super fast, super yummy and not super bad for you.

Did I mention it has bacon?

Ingredients List

  • 12 oz pasta (I used fusilli since it really holds the sauce but spaghetti would be great, too)
  • 8-10 slices pre-cooked bacon (I prefer Costco’s Kirkland brand. If you use another brand or cook it yourself, use 12 slices)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat milk (I used 1%)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of hot pasta cooking water
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (or substitute frozen peas)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Begin cooking the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, tear bacon into small pieces. In a large skillet over low heat, sauté the garlic and the bacon pieces for a few minutes. Remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and eggs.
When pasta is cooked and ready to drain, reserve 3/4 cup of the hot cooking water; set aside. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Gradually whisk reserved hot cooking liquid into milk mixture to “temper” the eggs.
Return the skillet with bacon and garlic to low heat. Add in milk mixture and whisk. The heat needs to stay low so that the eggs thicken the sauce but don’t try to set/scramble. If you see bits of cooked egg forming, remove from heat and keep whisking. Continue heating and whisking for 3 minutes.
Whisk in Parmesan. Add in pasta and broccoli slaw and stir to coat. Continue heating for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and serve pasta immediately.
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