Pasta Carbonara with Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Duck Eggs
A delicious pasta dish, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 as a meal, 6 as a first course.
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup heavy cream , (or ricotta cheese)
- 2 duck eggs, at room temperature, (or extra-large hen's eggs)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for finishing
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for finishing
For the pasta:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ounces bacon (preferably thick-cut and smoky), cubed
- 1 small onion, such as a cipollino, diced
- a big pinch red chile flakes
- 8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 1/2 bunch kale , (such as lacinato/dino kale)
- 8 ounces dry pasta , (such as penne, strozzapreti, or spaghetti)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Fill a large saucepan with water, salt it generously, and place over high heat to bring to a boil.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the cream, eggs, parmesan, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about five minutes. Add the onion and chile flakes, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes.
When the water boils, add the brussels sprouts and boil until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, drain, and add to the cooked onion mixture, turning the heat down to very low to keep the vegetables warm.
Strip the kale leaves away from their stems, discard the stems, and add the kale to the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Scoop out the kale with a slotted spoon and let it cool until you can handle it. Squeeze out the excess water, roll it into a bundle, and use a sharp chef's knife to slice it thinly. Add the kale to the pan with the onions and sprouts.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until done to your liking. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Immediately pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss well for a minute or two until the eggs thicken into a sauce from the heat of the other ingredients. If the mixture seems soupy or undercooked, return the skillet to a low flame and stir until it thickens. (If you want to be extra-safe, stick an instant read thermometer into the pasta and make sure it registers at least 170ºF.)
Serve the pasta immediately, topped with freshly ground pepper, parmesan, and parsley.
This is easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta; corn and quinoa penne is my current favorite for this dish.
Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.
Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 355mg | Sodium: 568mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4905IU | Vitamin C: 97.9mg | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 3.8mg