Once a week Etsy worker bees gather ’round our handmade farm tables to dig into seasonal dishes. We call this gathering Eatsy, and by far, it’s the best day at the office. Kitty Greenwald, cook and author, makes these dishes from scratch and the menu changes weekly. Eatsy’s objectives are simple: apply Etsy’s handmade values to food and provide the Brooklyn crew with a nourishing, communal meal. This is no different than what many of you do with friends and family in your homes. Eatsy strives to create a similar environment in the workplace, and we want to give you all a taste of Kitty’s amazing cooking. Here she is to share her tips for sourcing locally grown food and a recipe to boot.
Peas are on my brain. They’ve been knocking around there since first spotted at the Greenmarkets a few weeks ago. Immediately incorporated into an Eatsy menu, they were braised with green garlic and tossed into a romaine salad with creamy dressing. But, thinking of a recipe to share with you here on the blog proved trickier. Fresh peas are a sexy ingredient (at least to me) but shelling them requires extra prep and any posted recipe should merit such effort, at least I hope it should. Of course there are plenty of delicious pea recipes, don’t get me wrong, but the one I want to share has to have undeniable, mass appeal.
The other day I was hungry and only eggs and bacon would do. I’ll spare you the details of my appetite’s (and maybe brain’s…) inner workings, and simply say the answer jumped off the plate. Creamy, egg-y, cheesy spaghetti would wrap around salty bacon and sweet little peas in a truly comforting and utterly delish dish. It would be neither too saucy, nor sweet, nor salty. Below is the recipe and, if I do say so myself, it has lived up to my every expectation. I hope you agree and enjoy. Please do let me know if you don’t.
Carbonara is a classic Roman pasta dish made with eggs, pecorino, and cured pork — traditionally it’s made with guanciale but pancetta and bacon are often substituted. This version is enlivened with fresh peas and thinly sliced scapes, the twisty, twirly green shoots that spring from garlic plants (for more on scapes and an extra recipe, check out Dorrie Greenspan’s blog post). I used Hudson Valley Duck Farm’s fatty duck prosciutto because I tasted so many addictive samples at the Carroll Gardens Farmer’s Market that it had to come home with me — so it was my substitute for guanciale or pancetta. As for the other ingredients, the beautiful produce came from Lani’s Farm in Bordentown, N.J. and the fresh, fresh eggs from Fishkill Farms.
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
5 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces cured bacon, guanciale, pancetta or duck prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb. spaghetti
3/4 cups sweet, shucked peas
1 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced scapes
Fresh ground black pepper
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, yolks and ricotta together.
Place a large sauté pan over low heat and cook the bacon with the olive oil until just crisped and lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside; if it’s too hot and the bacon continues cooking, swirl the pan to cool it down.
Meanwhile, fill a deep pot with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and drop in the pasta. One minute before the pasta is al dente, add the peas. Once the pasta is just al dente, scoop out 1-cup of the pasta water and set aside. Immediately, drain the pasta and peas.
Shake off any extra water from the pasta and peas and slide them into the pan with the bacon. Return the pan to its former burner (there should still be enough heat coming from the burner, even though it’s turned off, to gently cook the eggs and cheese). Pour the egg/ricotta mixture over the pasta. Then fold in the pecorino and scapes and season with salt and pepper.
Moving quickly, mix all the ingredients together until just combined. If the sauce needs loosening, add just enough of the reserved water to the pan so all the pasta is lightly coated in sauce. Serve immediately and top with extra grated cheese.
About Kitty Greenwald, a cook and food writer living in Brooklyn:
I’ve cooked in New York, California, France, Italy and Portugal, been involved in Slow Food Nation, The Smithsonian Folk Life Festival: Food Culture USA, curated Slow Film Night at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and am currently collaborating with the great Grahame Weinbren for the SJ01 Biennial. I’ve written and contributed recipes to Real Simple, National Geographic’s Food Journeys of a Lifetime and the San Jose Mercury News. My first cookbook (just released!), Life’s Too Short to Chop Onions, published by Reader’s Digest, is a collection of handy-dandy easy recipes — you can find it on Amazon or through an independent bookseller. Happily, part of my week is devoted to Eatsy, a locally sourced and seasonal meal that I plan and prepare for the good people of Etsy. Here on the Blog, I’ll share recipes and chat with you about all things homemade and edible.
Do you support your local farmers’ market? Tell us about your recipes in the comments and share links to Flickr photos. Let’s make everyone hungry!