Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pasta alla Carbonara

I still had a fridge full of kale from my fun-filled afternoon of kale recipe experimentation and I was determined to come up with a fabulous Friday night meal without going to the grocery store. I try and force myself to create something at least once a week from the hodge podge of items in my fridge and pantry - it sparks creativity and keeps my kitchen waste low which is a total win/win. 

After a few minutes of sifting through the drawers in my fridge I came up with a bag of purple kale, a meyer lemon, 3 eggs, some half and half, half a red onion, about an ounce of diced pancetta, half a bunch of curly parsley, and a couple of nutty cheeses that were more rind than cheese at this point.  Now to the pantry; a head of garlic, one shallot, and half a pound of whole wheat spaghetti. Dinner suddenly becomes clear:  Pasta alla Carbonara it is.

Pasta alla Carbonara 
serves 2-3

1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1/2-1 bunch purple kale, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced 
1 shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
1-2oz pancetta, diced
1 meyer lemon, zested
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese
chili flake, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta - cook until al dente.
2. While water is heating start cooking pancetta in large saucepan. when most of the fat is rendered and pancetta is browning add the onion and shallot and cook for 2 minutes until translucent. next add garlic and cook until fragrant. then add kale and chili flakes and cook down
3. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, half and half, and cheese
4. when pasta is done, add noodles into bowl of eggs, cream, and cheese and mix (this will start to cook the egg yolks without curdling them).  Add this mixture into the saucepan with rest of your simmering ingredients (keep the heat low) and then add lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for  1 minute, serve immediately

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