Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fiddleheads and the Summer of Second Chances

So, this recipe isn't a true "carbonara" since there's no bacon, but there are FIDDLEHEADS, and that's just better.

“Fiddleheads with Second Chance Carbonara”
A surprisingly hearty spring dish for when you need to forgive and forget.
1 pound of oricchiette, or your favorite, pasta
4 ounces of fiddleheads, rinsed well to remove any “fuzziness”
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces green peas, fresh or frozen
1 large shallot, minced
2 eggs
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
4 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
A dollop of butter (optional)
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook until soft and fragrant. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
3. Add the fiddleheads and a ladle of pasta cooking water to help make a sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the peas. Cook for about a minute more. Do not let the fiddleheads lose their color. They should remain tender-crisp.
4. Crack the eggs into a large pasta serving bowl. Add the grated cheese and whisk. Add a little salt and pepper here, too.
5. Scoop the pasta out of the water and add to the skillet. Stir quickly, and then while still very hot, add to the serving bowl and toss well to create a sauce with the egg mixture and the hot pasta. Add butter to soften the sauce, if desired. 

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