California Avocado Carbonara

Carbonara is a classic Italian dish made with eggs and bacon. You start by cooking bacon in olive oil with garlic. Cooked spaghetti is then tossed in the pan to absorb all of that flavorful fat. The pasta is then transferred to a bowl with eggs, cheese and pepper. As you stir the hot pasta, the eggs gently cook, forming a wonderfully rich sauce. Freshly chopped parsley finishes the dish. 

In this recipe, the raw eggs are swapped out for heart-healthy California Avocados. The resulting carbonara is just as creamy and silky as the classic version. This pasta dish is special enough for company, but quick and simple enough to enjoy as a weeknight dinner. It’s truly a delight. 
 
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The combination of bacon and California Avocados are already an irresistible pairing, but the addition of golden garlic and parmesan cheese really takes things to the next level. Just make sure you freshly grate the parmesan and avoid the canned or bagged stuff.
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Instead of raw eggs, this Avocado Carbonara is sauced with a blended mix of a ripe California Avocado, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Hot, starchy pasta cooking water is added to thin everything out. With the use of a blender, this sauce comes together in a matter of moments.
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The finished pasta is garnished with crunchy bits of bacon, chopped parsley, grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
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California Avocado Carbonara Recipe

Ingredients
8 ounces dry spaghetti
1 ripe California Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces bacon, sliced into small strips
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ripe California Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook until just al dente (about 9 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Add sliced avocado, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese to blender along with a pinch of salt and several turns of black pepper. Set aside. Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the bacon and cook until crispy (about 4 to 5 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly golden (about 1 minute). At this point, if the pasta isn't done cooking, take the skillet off the heat. Return the skillet over medium heat 1 minute before the pasta is done.
  3. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Add spaghetti to the skillet with the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, tossing to coat in the bacon fat. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid to the blender, and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add a little bit more liquid if needed. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper. 
  4. Pour the contents of the skillet into a large bowl along with the avocado sauce and using tongs, toss and stir to combine. Drizzle more starchy liquid in as you are stirring to thin out the sauce if needed. The spaghetti should be evenly coated in the sauce, but you shouldn't see liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl. Stir in chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper (this dish can take a lot of pepper).
  5. To serve, divide carbonara between 2 plates and top with cooked bacon, extra parsley, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Enjoy immediately.

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