Vegetarian Carbonara With Mimosa Option

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One of the most famous and least diet-friendly Italian pasta recipes, the classic carbonara, made with eggs and bacon, is strictly forbidden to most of us, whether we are kosher, vegetarian, or simply trying to avoid a bypass.             

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1 lb.) Bucatini pasta (you can sub spaghetti or linguine)
  • 1 lb. asparagus, bottoms removed, stems cleaned and sliced (or use peas)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons finely minced arugula
  • 1 cup mixed Parmesan and Romano, freshly grated, plus extra for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Blanch the asparagus for 1 minute, rinse under very cold water, pat dry (dry completely), and slice. 

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a very large skillet. In the first skillet, cook the shallot for 1 minute, add the sliced asparagus, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste (make sure you add enough salt — the vegetables should be flavorful since they are actually replacing bacon!) 

3. For all the liquids to be well absorbed, and for the asparagus to ab- sorb the flavors, sauté on higher heat towards the end of the cooking. 

4. While the vegetables and the pasta are cooking, slightly beat the eggs in a large bowl with the nutmeg, 1 tablespoon oil (or melted butter), the arugula, the grated cheese, and some black or white pepper. You can even add a few chili flakes if you like hot dishes. 

5. When the pasta is cooked al dente, put a ladle full of cooking water aside just in case, then drain it and transfer it into the skillet with the asparagus, away from the heat. Transfer the pasta into the bowl with the egg and cheese sauce, and TOSS VERY QUICKLY, to avoid scrambling the eggs. 

6. You want a very creamy and smooth sauce, so go ahead and add a little cooking water as needed, one tablespoon at a time so you don’t go overboard. 

Serve immediately, offering extra cheese. 

NOTE: If you only eat fully cooked eggs, you can prepare the sauce without eggs, using only oil or/and butter and little cooking water, and add chopped boiled egg whites and crumbled boiled egg yolks when serving. We call this style “mimosa.” If you don’t like asparagus, try julienned zucchini sautéed with garlic, or peas cooked with minced onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Or broccoli rabe and garlic. Or what about soy bacon?             

Recipe published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Magazine Shavuot 2015 SUBSCRIBE NOW

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