Let’s talk comfort food for a bit, shall we? Everyone has their go-to meals that find their way into the dinnertime rotation on a pretty regular basis, simply because they hit the spot when your tummy starts to rumble that no other food can really compare to. A few years back, my sister shared her favorite comfort food (spaghetti carbonara) with me, and since then it’s become myself and my husband’s go-to comfort food that we LOVE to share together!
Though you can never go wrong with the traditional recipe, sometimes I seek out ways to elevate our favorite meals to give them a little extra oomph. When it comes to pasta dishes, one way I take things up a notch is by using bucatini pasta!
This particular dish doesn’t feature a sauce, but rather an oil and egg base that makes everything come together. Because there is no sauce, it’s extra important for the pasta to be able to hold onto the oils to help keep this dish light and fresh.
While spaghetti shaped pasta would typically be the go-to when making carbonara, I frequently use bucatini, which is a more robust pasta that is hollow in the center. It adds a layer of texture to the dish that I really love, and it’s another way to elevate the dish in a fun and unexpected way!
Another way my husband and I like to take this dish to the next level is by serving it inside a garlic and Parmesan cheese crusted bread bowl. I absolutely love the smell of fresh bread from the bakery, and these fluffy sourdough demi loaves are the perfect vessel to carry the Bucatini Carbonara! Before I began cooking the pasta, I carved out a hole inside each loaf, spread a little butter and garlic mixture inside and outside each loaf and sprinkled it with grated Parmesan cheese before popping it in the oven.
To make carbonara, you’ll need a few fresh ingredients that you very likely already have in your refrigerator. Fresh parsley and thick cut bacon are a must, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese is my personal preference, but pre-shredded is always fine!
Here’s a free printable version of the recipe with step-by-step instructions if you’d like to give it a go!
- 1 lb Bucatini
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese + small handful extra for garlic bread - set aside
- 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 7-8 pieces of bacon, cooked
- 4 Tbs butter + 2 Tbs extra set aside for brushing on bread
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- 4-5 sourdough demi loaves (depending on how many you're serving)
- Cook bacon using your preferred method (oven or skillet) until done, but not crispy
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Using a knife, cut a circle in each demi loaf and scoop out the insides to create a bowl
- Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a small bowl and add garlic salt to butter
- Brush butter and garlic mixture onto each demi loaf using a basting brush. Sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan cheese and back for 15-20 minutes
- Cook package of Bucatini according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, crack and scramble eggs in a small bowl
- Finely chop fresh parsley and bacon into small pieces
- In a small sauce pan, sauté minced garlic, 4 Tbs of butter and olive oil
- Once pasta is cooked, drain off water completely and quickly pour cracked eggs over pasta. Give it a quick stir to thoroughly coat pasta.
- Add butter and oil mixture and stir well
- Add Parmesan cheese, bacon pieces and parsley to pasta and stir
- Remove bread from oven and fill each bread bowl with pasta
- Top with additional parsley and cheese if desired
Once the pasta is complete, transfer a small portion into each bread bowl and top with a smidge of Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Whether you’re dining with family or curled up on the couch digging into this bread bowl, it’s going to quickly become a comfort food favorite that you’ll want to keep in your weeknight meal rotation on a regular basis – I guarantee it!
What is your favorite comfort food to fix during busy weeknights? How do you elevate your favorite foods to give them new life? If your family is full of pasta lovers like mine, make sure you swing by your local store to pick up a box or two of bucatini pasta to enhance your meals and make them absolutely delicious!