Coffee Carbonara

Coffee Carbonara

People question the idea of putting coffee into pasta more often than any other crazy recipe ideas I have. I put marshmallow on a burger and no one flinched, but for some reason, coffee in pasta is weird to everyone.

Well, today I am here to say stop questioning this amazing flavor combination and just go with it. This version of carbonara should almost be called breakfast pasta because it combines bacon, eggs, and coffee into each delicious bite. The eggs form that luscious creamy sauce you all know from carbonara and the addition of coffee adds a unique bitterness to the dish. Some asparagus adds a much-needed freshness and always pair great with eggs.


Not many ingredients needed to make this simple and amazing dish.

Heat some milk and add the coffee, then strain out the grounds. This is best done with a French press or cheese cloth.

Cook the pasta about 8 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy and add the asparagus.

Add the super strong coffee flavored milk to the eggs. Adding milk to carbonara can be a sin to Italians, but I needed a little to carry the coffee flavor into the dish.

Add the pasta to the bacon and asparagus and cook another 2 minutes.

Then vigorously stir the hot pasta into the room temperature egg and coffee mixture. There is also Parmesan cheese in there. Lots of it. The eggs and cheese will form the sauce for the pasta.

Then try really hard to not just eat this entire bowl yourself.

This pasta has such a great creamy almost latte-esque flavor.

I used red pepper flakes instead of the cracked black pepper traditional in carbonara because the heat and the flavorful chilies actually pair really well with coffee.

The creamy slightly bitter pasta is a perfect match for the salty bacon and cheese, and the asparagus gives everything that nice spring freshness

Coffee Carbonara

A carbonara recipe with deep flavors of coffee and parmesan, and a fresh springtime addition of asparagus.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Italian Roast Ground Coffee
  • 5 slices bacon cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bunch asparagus sliced in half the long way woody stems removed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese

Instructions

  • Heat the milk to almost boiling in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Pour into a bowl and stir in the coffee. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, and strain through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. You could also do this in a french press.
  • Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Drop the pasta into the water.
  • Add the bacon to a frying pan and cook until starting to crisp. Add the asparagus and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add the pasta to the pan when it is just al dente. Cook 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, parm, and coffee milk mixture in a large bowl.
  • Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir well as the heat from the pasta turns the eggs and cheese into a luscious sauce for the pasta.
  • Serve with additional cheese and red pepper flakes.

4 Comments

  1. Curious if you have ever tried cooking the pasta in a batch of coffee, or would the boiling temp needed to cook the pasta make the coffee too bitter and unusable for the pasta? Curious to see what you think.

    1. Yes, I actually have cooked pasta in coffee a few times. It works great but isn’t always worth the effort of brewing so much coffee!

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