Happy 2007!

Ready to break your New Year’s Resolutions? Yeah, I thought so.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to take more pictures of my food. Obviously, I’ve already slipped. Sorry folks.

Our New Year’s Eve feast consisted of grilled steak, dungeoness crab, and potato-fennel gratin (oh, and LOTS of champagne, tinted pink with a splash of homemade, pomegranate-infused vodka), so last night I complained to the husband that I just wanted something “light” for dinner when he suggested tri-tip sandwiches and fries at Firestone Grill.

Then I went into the kitchen and threw this together. Decidedly not light. But tasty and comforting, just the same. The nutmeg adds that little “Hmmm…. what is that flavor?” effect. I didn’t even miss the bacon. Okay, maybe I did. Just a little.

No-Bacon Carbonara

(adapted from Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist Cooks at Home)


  •  1/2 lb. spaghetti (I used whole wheat because I’m a hippy, and I only used 1/2 lb. because I cook for two. This gave us one generous serving for leftovers)
  • 1 large head broccoli, florets and stems trimmed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated high quality cheese, Parmagiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (I used the Romano)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped herb, your choice: mint, basil, or parsley (I used parsley)
  • Heavy Cream (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Blanch the broccoli for 1 minute, using a colander or steamer basket, then pull the broccoli from the water, rinse and drain. Add the spaghetti to the still-boiling water, and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges caramelize.

Combine the 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of the cheese and whisk to combine. Season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Once the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Immediately add the egg mixture, and toss for several minutes, until egg appears cooked. Throw in the broccoli and  fresh herb, toss again to combine. Check for seasoning.

If you want a looser sauce, add either some of the reserved pasta water, a dash of extra virgin olive oil, or a splash of heavy cream (if you really want to ignore those resolutions!). I went for the cream.

Serve immediately.

Pass the remaining grated cheese at the table. Enjoy!