I was actually very proud of myself last Monday when I managed to pull out one more meal out of my sadly almost empty fridge. And even prouder of the results! I love pasta – it is certainly one of my favorite dishes and I could eat pasta for lunch and dinner. I manage to restrain myself though, and for this Florent is very grateful. But, I find pasta difficult to make. Don’t get me wrong, everybody can boil water and pour pasta in it and see what happen.s But managing to get the pasta al dente – enough sauce that it’s not too dry – but not too soagy or fatty – this is to me one of the greatest challenges (did I tell you I was unemployed?). So Monday night – I was proud of myself.
Here it goes: Carbonara with Baby Spinach (I know, after such an emphatic introduction, I could have made an effort on the name).
- 7 oz – 200 g of Fusilli (De Cecco are my favorite – Barilla is authorized during recession only)
- 1/4 pint/125 ml of heavy cream
- 2.5 oz/150 g of baby spinach (i.e.: half a box of pre-washed baby spinach)
- 1 cup of sliced bacon
- 1 cup of Italian parsley
- 1 or 2 tbsps of lemon juice
- 1 cup of parmiggiano
- Salt & Pepper
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
1. Bring water to a boil (as much as you can – with loads of salt). Cook Fusilli al dente (i.e. – for me – usually time on the box + 1 or 2 min). Always keep a cup or two of the water you cooked the pasta in. It might be helpful if your pasta sauce is a little dry.
2. Sautee the bacon for 5-10 minutes on medium until crisp but not burnt. Get rid of all the piggy fat and get the bacon back in that skillet – with parsley & salt & pepper. Right before the pasta is cooked, add the heavy cream (which SHALL NOT BOIL) & lemon juice – you’ll see the sauce get ticker – don’t ask me why.
3. Pour the pasta in the skillet with the bacon, parsley & creme fraiche. Give it a little stir. Add the baby spinach – in two three times. Why? So that you don’t end up with a big clutter of spinach. Let the spinach sweat a little with the pasta. Add the parmesan, here again in 2-3 times and stir in between. If you feel your sauce is a little thick, now is a good time as ever to add a bit of that water from the pasta you were wise enough to keep. And there you are. I was so happy.