As you’ve come to know, Tuesday nights are CSA nights. I grab a huge bag and head over to the sidewalk outside of Boerum Hill’s YWCA, where there are tables set up groaning under the weight of fresh produce, and gather my share. This week, it took two bags just to get everything home, and will probably take two weeks to eat everything. I think another dinner party might be in order… The only issue I have with CSA nights is two-fold: a) I want to eat everything that we’re given all at once, but b) I always struggle to figure out what to whip up, since I’m so used to having some sort of meat in my meals.
So I got to improvising. I always find that the best way to get started on a good meal is to simply start cooking something. So I heated up a saute pan, threw in some extra virgin olive oil, and diced the farm fresh white onion I’d just picked up. Everything has to start with an aromatic (in my opinion), so I tossed the onion into the pan and started mincing garlic. This is when it struck me: why not a vegetable carbonara? Carbonara has always been my go-to dish. It’s something simultaneously hearty and light that you can throw together with what you have in the fridge, all under half an hour. I didn’t have bacon, but why not concoct a healthier version? I put some pasta to boil, added the CSA spinach to the pan to wilt, and then threw in some garlic for a minute before taking it off the heat (any longer and the garlic gets bitter).
While I finished waiting for my spaghetti to cook (timing has never been my strong point), I beat a single egg and into it grated some parmesan cheese. I like a lot of cheese, but the amount is completely up to you. When the spaghetti was cooked and drained, I added it to the saute pan and turned the heat back on. After cooking the pasta for a few minutes so it could absorb the flavors of the garlic, onion, and spinach, I poured the egg and cheese mixture onto the pasta and stirred it quickly, so the egg couldn’t scramble. Once the egg and cheese had coated the pasta and slightly cooked, I loaded it up on to my plate, topped it off with a dash of sea salt, and dug in. Success!