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Pasta Carbovera

April 6, 2014

So this past week, my husband was at the St. Regis in Punta Mita, Mexico ("for work"), and I was back here in New Hampshire, trying not to lose my mind with three kids (mainly my little daughter, Tuco), while spreading out the last of the snow into an even layer in my yard so it would melt faster. You know, like a crazy person would do. And then between tantrums, we looked, and saw the first little shoots of the tulips and buttercups that we planted last fall-- and we started clapping, cheering and fighting back the tears of joy! Winter might not last forever after all! Elsa's curse COULD be reversed (insert imaginary video of my six year old hair-flipping to, "Let it Go").

 

So yesterday, I hopped in the car, BY MYSELF, drove down to Russo's in Watertown, MA, and shopped for every green thing I could find. Artichokes, ramps, peas, favas, spring garlic, baby arugula, shishito peppers-- plus these gorgeous hedgehog mushrooms, St. Agur blue cheese, Pecorino Ginepero, Manchego and 3 loaves of good bread. It's all in my garage fridge right now, and I woke up at 6am this morning, thinking of all the things I'm gonna eat this week.

 

Last night, I made this pasta. It is the perfect early-Spring dinner--the bacon and eggs take the chill off the evening, the bright green vegetables let you flip off winter in your rearview mirror. 

 

See ya next October, Brussels Sprouts!

 

For 4 servings

  • 1 cup diced bacon or guanciale

  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti

  • 1 cup fava beans, blanched and peeled

  • 1 cup shucked English peas

  • 1 cup asparagus-- if it's thin, cut into 1 inch lengths, if it's thick, sliced into "coins"

  • 4 egg yolks, preferably from your neighbor's back yard chickens, but organic, free range and super-fresh in any case

  • some really good extra virgin olive oil

  • finely chopped mint, basil or both

  • freshly grated pecorino cheese (ginepero if you can find it)

  • freshly-ground black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Fill a large pot of with water, add a couple pinches of salt, and bring the water to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, add the bacon or guanciale in a large skillet with about a 1/4 cup of water, over medium-high heat. Let the water come to a boil, stirring the bacon frequently. Let the water boil away, and then the bacon crisp. Remove from heat, and set aside briefly.

  3. Cook pasta according to directions-- about 8-10 minutes. 

  4. While pasta is cooking, add favas, peas and asparagus to the bacon skillet. Season with some kosher salt, and add another splash of water. Cook for a couple minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

  5. Drain the pasta, saving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add noodles to the skillet with the vegetables and bacon. Toss the pasta so it's coated with the bacon fat, and the veggies are well-distributed. Add a little of the pasta water if the noodles seem "dry".

  6. Portion the pasta into 4 warm bowls. Add a farm-fresh egg yolk on top. Drizzle with a touch of your best olive oil, and sprinkle copiously with freshly-grated cheese, herbs and black pepper.

  7. To eat, break the yolk over the pasta and stir to coat.

 

Delicious with a spicy, light red wine- like a  Grenache, Shiraz or Malbec.

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