Gentle Readers, sometimes The Practical Cook winds up in the kitchen in less than perfect circumstances. This past week, the days were perfect, time spent on vacation in the mountains. But we had so much fun we failed to really grocery shop, and got home tired. What to do?
Work with what you’ve got. In this case, we were feeding a vegetarian, and there was not a strip of bacon in sight. But there was pasta, and spinach, and eggs. Go!
Not Quite Carbonara Recipe
Please note that absolutely everything about this is an approximation. I was trying to feed people, not document each step.
garlic (2 or 3 cloves, whole or minced)
baby leaf spinach
fresh pasta (dried will do), 1 pound will feed a crowd
lemon juice (depends on how potent it is, at least a teaspoon or two)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put pasta water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and garlic over a strong medium heat until you smell garlic. Toss in the spinach and saute quickly until leaves are coated with garlicky oil and just starting to wilt. Pull off heat.
2. Scramble the 3 eggs with lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Blend thoroughly.
3. By this point the pasta water should be boiling. Make the pasta according to direction (we used fresh black pepper spaghetti, but anything will do). Cook until just al dente. Drain and toss in heatproof serving bowl with the egg mixture immediately.
4. Toss thoroughly to coat and cook the eggs a bit. Add in garlicky spinach. Toss and top with a bit of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remember, with enough garlic and Parmesan, you won’t miss the bacon. That much. 🙂 This egg sauce technique will work with many other combos. Enjoy! Special thanks to Waldorf for allowing me to co-opt the idea and technique.
What’s your go-to dish when things are looking bare in the cupboard? Post a comment below!
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Summer is flying by, it’s time for Weekly Menus again this Sunday!