This lemon pepper carbonara is the perfect synergy of lemon zest and spicy black pepper. It works beautifully with creamy egg yolks and salty bits of bacon. This makes for the perfect weeknight meal.
Eggland’s Best Organic Eggs
This recipe post is in collaboration with Eggland’s Best eggs. If you know me, you know I love Eggland’s Best eggs. I could eat them morning to night. And I do! I love making jammy soft-boiled eggs for breakfast and eating them with sautéed summer veggies. And for night, I feel like they work too!
Eggland’s Best eggs have 6x more Vitamin D. Did you know, according to the CDC, Vitamin D helps the immune system resist bacteria and viruses? Eggland’s Best eggs also have more than double the Omega-3s and Vitamin B12 and 10x more Vitamin E. They’re full of good things! Look for them the next time you’re at the grocery store!
Lemon Pepper Carbonara Is the Twist I’ve Always Dreamed Of!
Carbonara is one of those recipes that I’ll always make when I’m craving comfort. Since we’ve been spending more time at home, I’ve been searching for little twists on recipes to keep things exciting and fresh!
A few months ago I grilled up some lemon pepper wings and it reminded me how much I love this flavor combo. Fresh and zest with toasted delicious pepper. I love it. So I guess you could say this is inspired by chicken wings hahaha. Sounds a little odd but trust me, this combo is perfection.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Carbonara
- Cook the bacon in a skillet set over medium or medium-low. I like to go low and slow on bacon to ensure that it doesn’t get too crispy and burnt. Remove it and drain it on some paper towels.
- In a bowl, whisk together the Eggland’s Best egg yolks, lemon zest, black pepper, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan-Reggiano. You want to get this smooth. This is going to be our sauce. If it gets stuck in the whisk, just tap it out.
- Boil up the pasta until it reaches al dente. Save some pasta water (about a cup). And drain the pasta.
- Pour the pasta in the bowl with the egg mixture and toss it together. I like tongs for this step. Add a few splashes of pasta water to loosen up the sauce.
- Add the crispy bacon and toss it one last time.
- Divide it amongst bowls and garnish with black pepper, lemon zest and more cheese.
Tips and Tricks
- Carbonara usually calls for guanciale, but I had trouble finding it. And if I have trouble, I’m guessing so will you. I ended up finding a very thick-cut bacon and used that and it was awesome.
- If you want perfect cubes of bacon, transfer the bacon to the freezer for 10 minutes. This chills it, making it easier to cube up.
- Work with room temperature eggs. I find that it combines with the cheese much easier if everything is room temperature. To do this quickly, place the eggs in a bowl with warm water for 5 minutes. This will shake off their chill.
- Will this recipe work with only one type of cheese? Yes, if I could choose only one cheese, I would do Parmesan-Reggiano because Pecorino can sometimes be a bit too salty. But both make it out of this world.
- Look for bronze-die pasta when purchasing pasta. It ensures the best quality pasta. And will give you the most delicious pasta water.
If you make this recipe, let me know on Instagram!
(This post is written in collaboration with Eggland’s Best. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)
Lemon Pepper Carbonara
- 3 ounces thick-cut bacon diced
- 4 large Eggland’s Best organic egg yolks
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 ounce Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 ounce Parmesan-Reggiano grated
- 1/2 pound spaghetti or pasta of choice
- ¼ cup pasta water reserved
- In a small skillet, set over medium heat, add the thick-cut bacon pieces and cook, stirring every now and then, until they’re golden and crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bed or paper towels to drain.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, freshly ground pepper, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan-Reggiano. It may take a bit in order to get it smooth, about 1 minute.
- Bring a pot to a boil. And then add in a few pinches of salt. (I usually salt my water very heavily but since the cheeses can be salty, I only add a pinch of two.) Boil the pasta to al dente and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the bowl with the egg mixture and add a splash or two of pasta water. Toss it vigorously until thoroughly combined. You want to toss it together for a full 1 minute. It may seem long but it’s necessary to ensure proper coating. Add in the bacon and toss one last time.
- Divide it amongst bowls, topping it with some extra lemon zest and grated cheese as garnish.