Pasta Carbonara with Kale

Rue is cutting her top teeth and going through a growth spurt I think because she did a LOT of screaming yesterday! I couldn’t put her down long enough to get anything done and by the time she was asleep, I was so wiped that I stared into the open refrigerator for 10 minutes trying to figure out what I could make.

We’ve been eating mostly vegetarian for the past couple of months and sometimes I blank at what to make when I don’t have a meat to center the dish around. After such a long day, I wanted something that involved very little knife work and just a couple dishes. I saw the bacon and eggs and immediately thought carbonara.  But a meal doesn’t seem complete to me without at least one green vegetable, so I threw in some kale as well. It turned out really nice and only took 20 minutes to make, so I had to share!

For people who don’t eat eggs/dairy/meat: Make a sauce with olive oil and pasta water instead. Like this Aglio e Olio recipe. Don’t have kale? Fresh spinach would be nice. Frozen peas, or steamed broccoli would work too.


(c=cup; T=tablespoon; t=teaspoon)
Serves 2 adults with leftovers


1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
1/2 small onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 handfuls of kale, stems removed & roughly chopped
2 pieces of thick cut bacon, diced
2 eggs
1/4 c of shredded pecorino romano cheese
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste


1.) Dice onion, mince garlic, remove stems from kale, and roughly chop.
2.) Cut bacon into bite size pieces.
3.) Boil pasta in salted water.
4.) Beat eggs in a small bowl and mix in the grated pecorino.
5.) Cook bacon on medium low until crispy and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Remove pan from heat so the reserved bacon fat doesn’t burn.
6.) Put the pan back on the heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the bacon fat in the pan and sautee the onion with a pinch of salt.
7.) Add kale and garlic and sautee until kale is wilted and the garlic is aromatic.
8.) Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.
9.) Add pasta to the pan with the vegetables and mix well to coat the pasta in the olive oil, adding another drizzle of olive oil if necessary.
10.) Remove the pasta from the heat, and coat with the egg and cheese mixture.
11.) Garnish with crispy bacon and freshly cracked black pepper.

NOTE: Adding raw egg to a super hot pan will cause the egg to scramble instead of making a creamy sauce. Make sure to remove the pan from the cook top before adding the egg so it doesn’t scramble.



L, M, & R