Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spaghetti carbonara with broccoli

spaghetti carbonara with broccoli, adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook EverythingOne of my two yearly conferences was last week and this weekend, and I'm still recovering. This year my program was hosting, which was quite a change from last year when it was at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. In addition to trying to go to the scientific part of the conference and social events, I was also running around trying to organize a workshop and help out with odds and ends. I was so tired today that I dozed off in my office and almost fell out of my desk chair. Needless to say, I haven't felt like putting a whole lot of energy into cooking for the last couple of days.

Spaghetti carbonara with broccoli (adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything")

1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces (I included the stem)
2 oz. bacon, diced
6 oz. spaghetti (I used brown rice spaghetti)
1 egg
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper

Boil or steam broccoli until it's tender, drain (if boiled), and set aside. While broccoli is cooking, cook bacon in a small skillet until it gets crispy and set that aside. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is almost done, beat egg and parmesan together. Drain the pasta, immediately put it back in the pot, and stir in egg and parmesan. Once the pasta is well mixed, add in bacon and broccoli and season with pepper. Serves 3.

Delicious! This is definitely comfort food at its finest, but the broccoli (from my CSA share!) provided a nice texture contrast and also made it a tad bit healthier. There was just enough bacon to give it a great flavor. The best part? this was ready in 30 min (and it would have been even faster had I not been moving at a snail's pace).

Well, it's officially the end of the month, and time to wrap up this month's cookbook of the month, "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. I'm still in love with this book because it has many classic recipes and encourages improvisation with a variety of add-in ideas for just about every recipe. I had a good time trying out classic chicken dishes (coq au vin and chicken adobo), making pasta for the first time (mixed greens ravioli), experimenting with new ways to cook turnips (braised turnips with mustard sauce), finally using my quiche dish (onion quiche with brown rice crust), and joining fruit and couscous (whole wheat couscous with apricots and pistachios). My favorite recipes that I made from the book this month, though, were shrimp and sausage jambalaya, potato pizza, and this carbonara recipe. I should also note that I've made many things from the book in the past: white bean dip, vegetable dip, cooked onions and apples, asparagus topped with mushrooms, and miso soup. Phew! That's a lot of recipes, and I can truly say that I've gotten to know this book. As you can see, it has all of the basic recipes that you could ever need. But, there are so many variations for each main recipe, that I could probably spend several years cooking something new from it every day. The title says it all, folks.


Julia said...

Maybe this is the book you need to cook all the way through?

Great photo! Glad you survived the conference.

Katie said...

Hmmm... this would definitely be a good book to choose, but I might pick something a little bit shorter for my first attempt :)

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Wait till you see your breakthrough said...

This is the easiest pasta dinner to throw together when you need something quick, delicious and with few ingredients.