When I hear the word “carbonara” I think rich creamy goodness with lovely subtle flavor. I also think “easy peasy dinner that takes about 25 minutes to make!” And just look how beautiful this Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs is!
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Carbonara sauce is simply a mixture of cream, egg yolks, garlic and parmesan whisked together. No need for cooking, you just place the piping hot pasta into the mixture and toss! It doesn’t get easier than that. And I am sure you have noticed that platter by now, it is lovingly handmade by Nikki at HappyClay.com . Swoon right? You can check out her Etsy Shop here.
When cooking pasta there are only a few things to remember. 1. Follow pasta box cooking instructions, they usually are right on. 2. Salt the water for flavor. 3. To keep pasta from sticking be sure to have lots of water in your pot, at least several inches above the pasta to allow room for expansion, and 4. stir frequently.
That Poached Egg Though…
Of course you don’t have to top your pasta with a poached egg, but if you do it’s important to know how to do it right. I have a video tutorial to help you out. Watch it and know that it takes a little practice to get it right. I messed up on my first few attempts, but once I got the technique down, poaching eggs became a cinch! Also if you have another person handy, put them in charge of eggs, then you won’t have to split focus!
The Recipe and What You Will Need…
…a stock pot to cook pasta, a microplane for the lemon zest, grating the cheese and the garlic. If you are new to poaching eggs or need a refresher check out my video tutorial. Gluten free friends use your favorite GF pasta! Note: Carbonara doesn’t reheat as well as most pastas. If you won’t be eating it all, I recommend making a half batch.
An easy dinner made in less than 30 minutes! See link above for how to cook a perfectly poached egg. If you have someone around to help with cooking, I recommend putting someone in charge of poaching eggs while you do the rest. Teamwork rules. Note: Carbonara doesn't reheat as well as most pastas. If you won't be eating it all, I recommend making a half batch.
- 16 ounces spaghetti or linguini prepared to package instructions
- 1/2 pound thickly sliced pancetta cooked and then chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced or grated with a microplane
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
- Zest of one medium lemon
- ½ cup pasta water reserved for thinning sauce you may need a little, or none
- Large handful baby kale or if preferred use arugula
- 4-6 poached eggs see video tutorial link above
Place a large stock pot of salted water to boil.
While waiting for pasta water, place pancetta in pan on medium/high heat. Cook for several minutes until both sides are crispy and browned. Remove from pan, place on paper towels and allow to cool, then chop.
While pancetta is cooking, prepare sauce.
Place olive oil, garlic, egg yolks, cream, lemon zest, cheese, a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper in a large bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
When ready add pasta to boiling water, stir frequently.
While pasta cooks, place a small pot of water to boil for poached eggs. See video instructions above. If you are poaching several eggs, do two at a time and simply reuse boiling water. If you have someone that can help, put them in charge of the eggs while you do the rest! That will make life easier.
When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in a small cup and strain pasta in colander (do not rinse). Place pasta in the bowl with cream/egg mixture. Toss well. If sauce is too thick add a little pasta water to thin. (You may need a little, you may need a lot, you may need none at all)
Add pancetta and a handful baby kale to pasta and toss. Place pasta on plates and top with poached eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve immediately.
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