I’m not a huge pasta person. I see pasta as merely a vessel to get as much sauce as possible into my mouth. But when I really want to eat pasta, I want carbonara. It lets perfect al dente pasta shine and with a squeeze of lemon juice on top its a perfect. I like to use bucatini, mainly because of Aziz on Master of None.
That ain’t spaghetti, that’s bucatini! It’s a thicker noodle, dummy!
bucatini alla carbonara
- Bucatini pasta (two servings worth)
- Reserve 1/2 c pasta water
- 3 pieces of pancetta diced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 T butter
- 1/2 fresh grated parm
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (not classic but I love it)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Bring water to a boil and drop the pasta – be sure to add a big scoop of salt. Cook till al dente
Wisk eggs and set aside. Cook up the pancetta in a large skillet (Fun fact: it doesn’t render nearly as much fat (or smoke) as bacon so it won’t stink up the kitchen). When its crisp add garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Add the butter.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet toss until all the noodles are shiny and coated in the butter and pancetta. Remove from heat! Mix in the egg mixture stirring constantly, the sauce will slowly thicken as the eggs cook but won’t scramble. You can add the pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.
Mix in the cheese, lemon zest, and tons of fresh cracked black pep!! Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy.
Greens are easy. But the time component makes them kinda tough – we last night I cooked them in my crock pot. Holy revelation! I’ll never stir them for hours again (unless I cook them with my Mama and have to use the stirring oar).
crock pot collards
- 2 bunches of collards, removed from stems and washed
- 1 chicken bullion cube
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 T EVOO
- 3 T vinegar
- Salt & Pep
- High quality H2O
- Crock pot
Load all your ingredients into your crock pot and cover with water – I filled mine to about 1 inch from the top so I’d have plenty of pot likkor (see my post on pot likkor risotto!)
Cook on high overnight (at least 8 hours) then in the AM lower the heat to low and cook for your work day (another 6-8 hours). You can’t really cook collards too long – but cook them less if you’d like more texture in your greens.
You’ll have all the flavor without any of the work. WIN.
I pretend I’m not but I am such a basic white girl. I love fall, boots, Starbucks, selfies, pumpkin, and yoga pants. Pumpkin gets a bad wrap because of the PSL but it’s really an amazing ingredient. I love to use it in soups! Here is a quick and yummy pumpkin chipotle soup!
Chipotle PUMPKIN SOUP
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-2 chipotle peppers chopped (canned in adobo)
- 8 cups chopped, cooked pumpkin
- 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 half & half
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons salt, more to taste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Bacon, sour cream and avocado for topping!
In a large dutch oven, add the EVOO and onion. Cook the onion for around 2 minutes over medium high heat then add the garlic. Add the cumin, peppers, pumpkin, stock, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend the soup until its smooth and creamy. Add half & half, lime, and salt and pep to taste.
Top it off with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, bacon – whatever you like! But be aware, the chipotle peps can be really spicy! So don’t go too crazy – you can always add more but can take any out.
Go on and be basic.
Oh yea I said it. I’ve been on the kale train and rocking the kale shirt long before Queen Bey. And by request I’m tossing in more veggie recipes! This one includes bacon… but you can leave that out.
braised rainbow kale
- 6 cups raw rainbow kale (or regs green kale) washed and chopped
- 3 slices of thick cut bacon chopped
- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (or more!)
- Salt and Pep
In a large skillet cook off the chopped bacon strips! Pull them out when crispy and drain on a paper towel. Pour most (but not all) of the grease.
Toss in the onion and garlic – cook for about 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper and give it a spin around the pan.
Load it up with kale! Use tongs turn the kale in your sauce coating all the leaves as the begin wilt down. You can let them go as long or as little as you’d like- depending on your desired crunchiness.When you’ve reached wilted yet crunchy perfection stir back in bacon and season with salt and pep to taste!
If you opted for the pig free version – begin with some EVOO or coconut oil. About 2 teaspoons should do the trick.
I can’t honestly say that I have a favorite food because it changes daily. But I do have a favorite weeknight meal and it’s only recently gone into rotation. It’s flipping delicious and so quick!
spaghetti squash with bacon spiach and goat cheese
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 3 slices of thick cut bacon
- 3oz garlic and herb goat cheese
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon reserved bacon renderings (aka grease of the gods)
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- Salt and Pep
- 1 egg (optional)
Halve the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle lightly with EVOO and place face down on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until tender, about 25 minutes.
At the same time bake off the bacon and save one teaspoon of the grease. Crumble the bacon when cooked. Let your squash cool slightly before using a fork to scrape down the flesh to make the “spaghetti”. Set aside.
In a large skillet add the bacon grease, red wine vinegar and syrup. When it’s warm add the spinach, a handful at a time as it wilts down. Toss in the bacon and add the squash. Stir to combine. Add the crumbled goat cheese (just use your fingers to break it up), salt and pep and it’s ready to serve! I topped mine with a poached egg, because I’ve yet to find something an egg doesn’t improve. Also protein. Boom.
Sweet, smokey, creamy, crunchy, tart- this quick dish has it all. It’s even yummy cold for lunch the next day!