We're fans of pasta alla carbonara. Whole wheat pasta combined with lots of garlic and pepper, local eggs from healthy chickens, and just enough uncured center-cut bacon make the seemingly indulgent classic a relatively healthy meal as well. (You can even add fresh greens, if you'd like.)
This late spring/early summer version features spicy, tender garlic scapes (the stalks of the garlic plant cut off in spring so the plant can focus all its energy on the garlic bulb) instead of mature garlic cloves. (Garlic scapes also make a lovely pesto!)
Garlic Scape Carbonara
12 garlic scapes, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 ounces bacon, chopped fine
1.5 oz parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8oz whole wheat spaghetti
Set a medium pot of water to boil.
Beat eggs lightly and stir in parmesan and pepper, reserving some cheese for topping the finished dish. Set aside egg mixture.
Heat a 12-inch skillet and cook bacon over medium heat for about 2 minutes, just until the fat begins to render. Add the garlic scapes. (Center-cut bacon has less fat, so I added about a teaspoon of grapeseed oil to keep the pan from being too dry.)
Continue cooking garlic scapes and bacon about 10-12 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the garlic scapes begin to shrivel and brown. If at any point the pan becomes to dry and food begins to stick, add a splash of water to deglaze.
Meanwhile, generously salt the boiling water and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Immediately add cooked pasta to the pan with the garlic scapes and bacon. Toss over medium heat with a splash of cooking water. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and add egg/cheese mixture, tossing over low heat, just long enough for the sauce to thicken and adhere to pasta. If you notice the eggs beginning to cook, immediately remove pan from heat an continue tossing.
Serve immediately topped with remaining parmesan cheese.