What is the opposite of a green thumb?
Whatever it is…I’ve got it.
A reluctant gardener at best I’ve been known to kill even the hardiest of plants. We’re talking mint…rosemary…bamboo.
That’s right. For the daughter of an award-winning landscape designer, I am a total failure in the garden.
Which is why when our friend and neighbor, Casey, told us about his new CSA, Hand Farmed Organics, I immediately panicked it would sell out (we are talking about neurotic, type-a me after all), signed up for a half-share, and started pestering him about when it would start-up.
Well…were just weeks away now from weekly deliveries of broccoli, cauliflower, and beets fresh from the ground, but what he does already have is the world’s very best eggs.
If you buy eggs at a grocery store, stop immediately. Find a farm near you and get the real thing. There is simply no comparison.
Beautifully varied, speckled white and brown shells, these eggs (whose yolks incidentally are neon orange) are the most delicious, velvety treats you’ve had in a long time.
Subsequently, I’ve been trying to think of recipes that include eggs. This carbonara topped with slow-roasted pork belly is definitely a decadent treat, but a perfect dinner for a cool spring night with friends and a good bottle of Pinot Grigio. Don’t let the Pork Belly intimidate you. Just think of it as Bacon’s wilder, older brother.
Carbonara Made with Farm Fresh Eggs, Topped with Pork Belly
Adapted from two Food & Wine Recipes
2 pounds boneless, skinless, meaty fresh pork belly, fat trimmed to 3/4 inch and scored
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat a large, deep ovenproof skillet until hot. Add the pork, fatty side down, and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, 8 minutes. Scatter the garlic, onion, celery and carrots on either side of the pork belly and cook until softened slightly, 5 minutes.
Add the wine and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours, turning every thirty minutes, until the meat is very tender but not falling apart. Transfer the pork to a platter and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the meat into two-inch cubes and set aside.
12 ounces bucatini or angel hair
1 shallot, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
4 large egg yolks, whipped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
Freshly ground pepper
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.
Meanwhile heat a large skillet until hot. Add the pork belly and cook over moderate heat until most of the fat has been rendered and each side boasts a nice crisp outside, 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened and beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add the cream and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the hot pasta to the skillet and stir to coat, 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water, the 1/2 cup of grated cheese and then slowly add the egg yolks tossing constantly so they don’t cook onto the pasta. Season with salt. Divide the pasta into bowls, top with pork belly, and sprinkle with parsley and pepper. Serve, passing more cheese at the table.
**All photos compliments of Hand-Farmed Organics’ Kim Sklar**