Beer and Bacon Carbonara

October 27th is American Beer Day and, in honor of this holiday (yes, holiday!), I am so pleased to guest post for Coleen, The Redheaded Baker (this was previous posted on her site on 10/25). I was very excited to have an opportunity to develop a beer recipe because it is honestly one of my favorite things. My regular readers know that I am a Wisconsin girl....more specifically from Green Bay and we love our beer.  I have made many dishes with beer from tacos to bruschetta to mac & cheese. Beer bring a great flavor to a dish and can change a flavor profile dramatically (in a good way).   One of the things Coleen asked us to focus on is an American Beer and I decided on my all-time favorite, Spotted Cow. Spotted Cow is brewed by the New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, Wisconsin. It a a fantastic ale that is probably one of the most popular local beers in the area. The brewery describes Spotted Cow as a "farmhouse ale" with a hint of corn. 

It was easy to pick the beer I wanted to use, but developing a recipe was both fun and challenging! I ultimately decided on a carbonara.  Most carbonara recipes use white wine and when paired with egg and cheese the results are rich, creamy and a slight tang from the wine. I decided that Spotted Cow would work just as well and even give a slight bittersweet flavor to the dish. I also decided to thrown in a bit of Wisconsin sharp cheddar in place of a traditional Parmesan. 

My husband and I absolutely adored this pasta. The smoky and salty flavors from the bacon worked wonderfully with the slight bittersweet (thanks to those corn flavors!) beer flavor and the cheddar cheese gave a lovely rich tang to the pasta. 

Thank you to Coleen for inviting me to her spot and supporting the delicious flavors of American beer.
Support your local brewers and enjoy a frosty cold one!


1 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small white onion, diced
1 cup light ale or pilsner (I use Spotted Cow)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar
2 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb spaghetti


In a large rimmed skillet cook bacon till crisp over medium heat. Transfer bacon from skillet to a towel lined plate. Drain all but 2-3 Tbl of bacon grease and add onion. Allow onion to cook till tender. Add beer and slowly simmer to reduce for about 10-12 minutes. 

While the onion and beer are cooking cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, cream, cheddar, Parmesan and pepper. Set aside. 

Add onion and beer mixture to the hot pasta. Toss to coat. Mix the egg and cheese mixture into the pasta and toss to allow the sauce to thicken. Gently stir in the bacon. 


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