You know that feeling you get once the dust around you settles, and you are left looking around partially wondering “what just happened?”, but also “what now?”. Yea, that is where I am. Suddenly, I have time to think, write, cook, take photographs, anything and, perhaps not surprisingly, I’m king of paralyzed by it, unsure of where to start. I finally designed a new header for the site, up there, which I am quite happy with and I’m working on developing a rhubarb cake recipe. Which, by the way, I could use some more friends to eat cake if anyone is interested. You can submit an application via email.
I went out to my parent’s house last week to get some fresh rhubarb, just beginning to peek out of the ground. I’m not sure if it is simply because I know the yard so well, but I can see spring coming more clearly in their yard than anywhere else. Most notably, the chickens are very active and are producing eggs like nobody business. Between the eggs from my mom’s chickens and my, ahem… egg hoarding tendencies, I have a lot of eggs in the fridge. Quiche, frittata, and fried eggs have all been in the regular rotation this week. If you haven’t had compost fed chicken egg, with a bright orange yoke, you really should track some down. In a dish where the egg is prominent a good egg makes all the difference.
This pasta carbonara is a perfect early spring dish. Kale is one of the first things to show up at the market, and in many places kale and other hearty greens can winter-over with only a little protection. The first time I had pasta carbonara was when I was in college, I was dating my first post-high school partner and was loving my new independent life. That relationship, in a round about way, taught me to love food and cooking. I remember being amazed by the simplicity, it is because of the simplicity that the quality of the ingredients is so important. Pasta, bacon, eggs, cheese. You really can’t go wrong.
Pasta Carbonara with Kale
1/2 pound spaghetti pasta
2-3 pieces quality bacon
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 bunch kale, tough center stem removed and chopped, about 4 cups
2 large eggs
1/2-3/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
Fill a large pot with water and a teaspoon of salt and bring to boil for the pasta.
In a separate large pot or skillet, cook bacon until crispy. When the bacon is done remove from pan and chop into small pieces. Remove all but 1 Tablespoon bacon fat from pan and return to heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add wine to deglaze pan, then add kale and toss, cook until bright green and tender.
In a small bowl scramble eggs with parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and pepper.
Once pasta is al dente drain from pan, reserving 1/2 pasta water. Add pasta to kale and bacon in pan. Remove from heat, and mix in egg mixture. Toss until evenly coated. The residual heat from the pasta and the pan will cook the egg.
Top with another sprinkle of cheese and serve immediately.