He knew exactly what he wanted: Pasta alla Carbonara. With Kale. Kale. I love kale, could eat if every day, and have been trying to convert my mostly vegetable-averse children to my kale ways for years.
I see this as a triumph of sorts, and I know that I have my friend Silvia to thank.
Then, while staying with Silvia in Chicago, she whipped up a quick saute of kale in olive oil with salt that was fresh, flavorful and just perfect.
When I added the sauteed kale to my favorite Carbonara recipe, the crispy kale nicely complemented the creamy pasta and the salty prosciutto.
This is not the healthiest dish around, for sure, but I do believe that the benefits of kale more than make up for the decadent amount of cream. I'd rather have my kids eat Pasta alla Carbonara with Prosciutto and Kale than mac and cheese from a box. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; we eat it more than I'd care to admit).
The fully loaded version is better, by far, so I would recommend that if you are going to make Pasta Carbonara, make a true Pasta alla Carbonara as the Romans intended. It is a special occasion dish in our house. Happy Birthday Nick!
Pasta alla Carbonara with Prosciutto and Kale
Jamie Oliver is a British chef who creates simple, amazing Italian dishes. This recipe was inspired by his Sausage and Zucchini Carbonara. If you have an iPhone, you will want to check out his app: Jamie Oliver 20 Minute Meals. I use it just about every day.
Lacinato Kale was the best looking kale at the market this week. It also goes by the names Tuscan kale, cavolo nero, and Dinosaur kale.
You will need a large pot to boil the pasta, a frying pan for the proscuitto and kale, and another bowl for the sauce. This will feed 4 very hungry people, or 6 who are not so ravenous.
- 4 oz prosciutto, sliced thin and cut into strips (or bacon, but proscuitto is a tad leaner)
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. spaghetti or fettucine (I like De Cecco dried pastas)
- 4 large eggs, the freshest you can find
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 bunch kale, stem removed and thinly sliced, then dried with a kitchen towel, or 1/4 cup frozen peas
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add 1 Tbsp coarse salt and cover. Add pasta once it's at a rolling boil, stir and watch closely. Cook until al dente.
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil, then add strips of proscuitto. Saute until prosciutto is starting to get crispy. Set aside.
- Using the same frying pan, add another 2 Tbsp. olive oil and heat on a medium setting. Add kale, saute for about 5 minutes, or until it is just starting to get crispy. Add a heavy pinch of sea salt, and set aside with the prosciutto.
- Take your eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. You will only need the yolks for this dish. Place them in a large bowl.
- Use a whisk or a fork to beat in the heavy cream. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- When your pasta is just al dente, scoop out a cupful of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta in a colander.
- Add the hot pasta to the egg/cream/cheese sauce. Toss well. If you are using frozen peas, add them now.
- If the pasta is too dry, add a bit of the pasta water and toss again.
- Toss the pasta with the reserved kale and prosciutto. Grind on some pepper and serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese on the side.
Top Ten Things We'll Miss About the Westside Store and Deli:
- Riding bikes with the kids to get a 10 cent soft-serve ice cream cone.
- Finding treasures in the frozen food case; once I found a gallon of locally foraged huckleberries for $12.
- Patrick, Steve, Rolando and all the other checkers. They always carried my groceries out to the car when I was having neck and back problems.
- Overly ripe bananas for sale, for impromptu banana bread baking.
- Homemade guacamole that reminded me of the Yucatan.
- Jeff the Butcher, who would let me come in the back and show him how I wanted my tenderloin cut up.
- Homemade Chili, which was served many nights when I was too tired to cook.
- Splurging on the latest Oxo gadget.
- Amaretti cookies always in stock.