Miso Carbonara with Bok Choy & Spring Garlic
This spring Asian/Italian fusion dish was inspired by Epicurious.com's recipe for Miso Carbonara with Broccoli Rabe and Red Pepper Flakes. I don't really like broccoli rabe, though, and we had some beautiful bok choy on hand, so I thought I'd make some adaptations. One thing led to another, and I realized that between changes to ingredients and changes to method, maybe it wouldn't be fair to say I'd tried the Epicurious recipe after all.
So, here's my version. It's a straight combination of how I cook greens and how I make carbonara, so it seemed more logical to me than their method (boiling the greens), and it uses the spring garlic we're more likely to have on hand when the first tender bok choy of the season appears.
- 1/2 lb spaghetti fettucine, or other long pasta
- 1/2 lb bacon cut crosswise into 1/4" strips
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 bunch spring garlic trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4" lengths
- 1-2 bunches bok choy
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk in addition to the whole egg above
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 3 oz Royer Mountain grated (about 3/4 cup, plus more for serving)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil on the stove. The goal will be for the pasta to be finished cooking at the same time the bok choy is wilted.
Prep bok choy by trimming stem end and separating leaves individually. Slice thick stems in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch sections; cut leaves into approx 2 inch sections. Rinse, but don't dry.
Cook bacon over medium-low heat so fat renders and bacon is just cooked. If there's a lot of fat, pour some of it off, but if you're using pastured bacon you probably won't need to.
Start the spaghetti (that is, add the noodles to the boiling water) & cook according to package directions.
Turn the heat on the bacon up to medium and add the red pepper flakes (if using), spring garlic, and bok choy to the pan. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and partially cover while the pasta cooks.
In the meantime, use those last 5 minutes to mix together the egg, yolk, and miso paste, until it forms a smoothish paste.
When the spaghetti is finished cooking, remove the lit from the greens and, using tongs, transfer the pasta into the pan. Turn the heat off, and add the egg/miso, tossing to coat. Add 1/2ish cup pasta water a couple of tablespoons at a time until mixture is silky.
Add 1/2 cup Royer Mountain and mix until it's well-combined.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve immediately, topped with additional cheese.