Spring Carbonara

by Jo

This time of year is just marvellous; it’s the light at the end of the tunnel! My alarm goes off when there’s a glimmer of day time, the count down to the clocks changing is closing in (32 days to go!) and sometimes, just sometimes you can leave the house without a coat. Hoorah!

Changing seasons poses a bit of a problem in the kitchen though, don’t you think? You’ve left behind gut-busting hibernation food, but you’re not exactly ready for super light Summer dishes. I’ve welcomed in a foodie guest to help solve that Springtime dilemma with a comforting, but fresh Italian dish. Over to them!

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Spring Carbonara

Hi everyone, this simple dish is rich and flavoursome but fresher than Winter dishes, making it a lovely way to ease yourself into the changing season.

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 200g kale, shredded
  • 100g unsmoked streaky bacon
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g goats cheese, soft & mild
  • Parmesan & basil to garnish (optional)

1. Bring the pot with water into a boil. Add salt, then add the pasta. You can also add a vegetable oil so pasta won’t stick to the pot as it cooks. Check the consistency of the pasta regularly: don’t let it get soggy!

2. Drain the water, but leave some for use later. Let the pasta cool in a colander.

3. Heat a non-stick pan and dry-fry the bacon. Make sure the bacon is crisp. Remove most of the fat, but reserve about a teaspoon. Set the bacon aside to cool and then snap into bite-size pieces.

4. Fry the onions in the remaining bacon fat for 3 minutes or until soft.

5. Add the cooked pasta and kale into the pan, thoroughly stir the bacon with the goat’s cheese. You can add some of the pasta stock you reserved earlier when the entire mixture looks dry.

6. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves and serve.

Springtime Carbonara BBC Good Food

I think this dish is a real crowd pleaser and great for entertaining. I If you and your friends enjoy a glass of wine with your meal (like me) you’ll know cheesy Italian dishes go beautifully with a good, chilled white wine. But I’ve recently got into sparkling wine, which makes entertaining that bit more luxurious. I used to be less clued up on sparkling wines but I learned some good tips from this gentleman, the wine guru for M&S. I now look out for lemon & lime peel aromas which I’ve got to say, really compliment the creamy flavours of the goats cheese in this pasta.  Decadent Italian flavours with a decent bottle of bubbly with friends is a lovely way to see in the Spring 🙂

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