Monday, April 23, 2012

Strozzapreti with Duck Egg-Herb Carbonara

Now, let me ask you this:  If someone handed you fifty-four duck eggs, what would you say?  And, then assuming you accepted them, what exactly would you do with them?  Add in these two factors- duck eggs are at least twice the size of chicken eggs plus twice as rich, and you have at least two dozen chicken eggs in your cooler at home.  Thoughts?  Opinions anyone?  No?

I was presented with this exact issue this weekend.  And for those of you that know me personally, you already know that I accepted all of them, with glee and gushing thanks, not considering the two factors presented in the third sentence above.  So it begins...I managed to give away quite a few of them to unsuspecting neighbors, and am about half way through the rest.

The first recipe I made was a chipotle scramble with green onion and tomato on buttered toast.  It was pretty good, but it didn't necessarily highlight the unique richness of the duck egg.  The second item I made with the eggs was a play on pasta carbonara from the Herbfarm Cookbook.  It uses a whole bunch of herbs (surprise!) instead of pancetta, and I adjusted it slightly to accommodate what I had available.

Strozzapreti with Duck Egg-Herb Carbonara
yield: 4 servings

    • 4 large egg yolks  (or two duck egg yolks)
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream  (or some awesome unfiltered organic extra-virgin olive oil)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chervil if available
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 ounces dried strozzapreti or fusilli
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

    • Directions
    • 1. Setting up. Fill a large (8-quart) pot with water, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream (olive oil) in a large stainless-steel mixing bowl. Stir in the herbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of pepper.
    • 2. Pasta. When the water is at a boil, stir in the pasta and cook at a steady boil until tender but still firm. While the pasta is cooking, warm the egg yolk mixture by briefly holding the bowl over the pot of boiling water and whisking rapidly. Heat the mixture just to lukewarm; don't let the eggs cook. When the pasta is done, drain and add it to the egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and toss well. The egg yolks will cook from the heat of the pasta and form a thick sauce.

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