This week I discovered I don’t like parsnips. Ok, they are not that terrible, not as bad beets. I made a curried parsnip soup for lunch this week. You can find the inspiration recipe here. If you like parsnips (and curry), I’m sure you would like this soup but the parsnip flavor was just too strong for me. I’ve had them cooked differently and they are fine but this soup left a bad taste in my mouth, literally. And to add insult to injury, 4 days later, I can still smell the soup when I walk in the door.
Now on to something delicious. Carbonara. When someone first told me about it they said it was like breakfast. Bacon, egg and cheese in pasta form. What’s there not to like? I can remember eating it in Italy where they serve it with a golden egg yolk sitting in the center waiting to be broken. It’s a great food experience.
Even though it’s not traditional for carbonara, I like to add veggies. This time I added a head of thinly sliced napa cabbage which worked well with the other flavors. It can be a scary dish to make because you don’t want to curdle the eggs and I am still working on perfecting the art of carbonara but this may be my best attempt so far.
Spaghetti Carbonara with Napa Cabbage
I started by dicing a few slices of bacon into small pieces. It’s really easy to do this if the bacon is frozen. After the bacon was browned I added a large clove of garlic minced and cooked that for a minute. I sliced the cabbage into 1/4″ pieces. I added it to the pan and sautéed until it cooks down and starts to brown. Season with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
While spaghetti was cooking (I used about 1/2 a box), I made the egg mixture.
I used my microplane to grate the cheese and ended up with a fluffy pile of parmesan.
Whisk together 2 eggs, about 1/4 cup of parmesan and more black pepper. I reserved a cup of pasta water to thin the sauce. After the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan of cabbage and bacon and remove from the heat. I added some pasta water to the egg mixture while stirring just to temper it a little. You would normally add the eggs straight to the pasta and then add water as needed.
Add the egg mixture to the pasta and stir to combine. Mix in another 1/4 cup or so of parmesan. Tempering the eggs worked better but my sauce was a little watery so I put the pan back on the heat and it thicken right up. Next time I think it’ll be just right.