Spring Carbonara with Crunchy Greens, Lemon and Burrata

Spring Carbonara with Crunchy Greens, Lemon and Burrata

spring-carbonara-vegetables-lemon-burrata

What an eventful Easter! The weather was perfect for outdoor activities and the weekend was filled with quirky encounters, old/new friends, and lots of booze and fun-tivities. The highlight was definitely yesterday’s Easter brunch which E & I hosted on our *unshaded* roof. No one was really religious, but in honor of Easter, there were eggs and lamb involved.

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I made a spread of my spring favourites, including homemade pita chips and mint guacamole, a charcuterie platter, fresh pasta (made the night before while I was allegedly quite tipsy) and an herb crusted leg of lamb. And of course, we hydrated with lots of rose. For dessert, I made a new twist on carrot cake...strawberry cream cheese frosting! It was truly genius and I’m going to share the recipe with you when I’ve perfected it.

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For now, please indulge with this spring pasta with lemon zest and burrata. It’s creamy, tangy and extremely pretty to look at. The technique is similar to carbonara, where you temper eggs with hot pasta water and toss it through the pasta to create a thin sauce. The al dente pasta gets a creamy, salty coating, interspersed with crunchy, vibrant  vegetables. You can upgrade it with some cured meat, like prosciutto, and dot the top with a creamy soft cheese, like burrata or ricotta. Then sprinkle the top with something fresh and herby, like mint, basil or radish sprouts. It’s versatile and the combinations are endless, but the point is something refreshing and light, and just decadent enough. Practice your twirling game like Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest and serve it on a baking tray, it will surely impress your guests!

spring-carbonara-vegetables-lemon-burrata

Spring Carbonara with Crunchy Greens, Lemon and Burrata

Serves 4-6.

1 pound bucatini pasta
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch wilting vegetables, such as spinach, arugula, fresh watercress etc
1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
3 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup sugar snap peas, de-stringed
8 ounces burrata cheese
zest of 1 lemon
bunch of mint
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta 1 minutes less than the manufacturer’s instructions. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, saute the chopped onion over medium heat until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add spinach and let wilt, around 2 more minutes. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, parsley, parmesan and season with salt and pepper, whisk well. If desired, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Make sure to not over salt at this stage because the parmesan also adds to the saltiness.
  3. When the pasta is ready, turn off the heat of the frying pan. Remove pasta from the pot with a pair of thongs and directly transfer into the still-hot pan. Immediately add vegetables to the boiling water and let it cook until bright green, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, working quickly, add the egg mixture to the hot pasta and toss around with your thongs, adding ¼ cup of hot pasta water at a time to thin out the sauce. Continue to toss the pasta for 2-3 minutes or until the creamy egg mixture evenly coats the pasta. When vegetables are ready, remove with a slotted spoon and toss them through the pasta. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If using, add the prosciutto now.
  4. Arrange the pasta onto a baking sheet or divide it among serving bowls. Right before serving, rip the burrata into pieces with your hands and dot them on the top of the pasta. Scatter the top with watercress, chopped fresh mint and a few gratings of lemon zest. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy immediately.
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