I was recently given the golden gift of a bunch of kale. Golden because it is unbelievably difficult to find in San Sebastian. I now have two other sources for kale – a fact I was unaware of as I savored each leaf and deliberated over what to make. The conversation in my Spanish class the day I received my gift revolved around what one could do with kale: the look on my Turkish colleague’s face when I showed her this carbonara made my decision easy on what to finally post. Yes, my first cooking post since moving to Spain 5 months ago. Oops.
I am on a budget here and share a kitchen with 5 other individuals. That makes for SOME very simple and inexpensive cooking. One of my go-to favorites here is a basic carbonara. There are a variety of ways to make this pasta but the key is the raw egg mixed into the hot pasta. The farm eggs here are amazing and plentiful. While the ham here is the best, I made this vegetarian version to take advantage of the kale.
I promise this is simple and delicious. Double or triple recipe to make enough for everyone.
One-Pot Carbonara with Kale serves 2
200 grams Spaghetti (half package)
1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg, beaten together in a small bowl
1 small clove garlic, chopped
a few large kale leaves (about 100 grams), tough stems removed, leaves torn into small pieces
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan to taste
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
chili flakes (optional)
Cook your favorite pasta in plenty of salted water.
While pasta is cooking, prepare your garlic, kale and eggs.
Strain pasta and RESERVE about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and put over low flame. Add the garlic immediately and stir to keep it from getting brown (the pot is still hot and will cook quicker than you may realize). Add chili flakes if using.
After a minute or so of stirring the garlic, add the kale. Sauté for just a minute until it appears soft. Add the pasta back into the pot and stir to keep from sticking to the bottom. Add the other tablespoon of oil if needed. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved water. Turn the heat off.
While mixing with a fork, add the eggs and stir constantly until you have a rich creamy sauce. Add more of the reserved water if you want it creamier. Add salt and plenty of fresh pepper to taste (and the zest if you are using it). Add parmesan to each individual bowl of pasta.