This soba noodle carbonara is a healthy spin on traditional carbonara using soba noodles, vegetables and milk.
There’s an amusing story that goes along with this carbonara. I shall call it “A Peak into What’s it’s Like to Work From Home: a short story by Gina Matsoukas”
12 o’clock hits and instead of going straight to the kitchen for lunch, I decide it’s way too beautiful outside to spend one more minute indoors and grab a beach towel from the laundry room where they’ve been held captive for the past 7 months to head outside. Ginger comes with me, I lay down and since I’m in workout clothes (per usual), I decide to roll up my running shorts to a ridiculous “it’s 1998 and I’m a cool high school soccer player level” and take my tank top off (I was wearing a sports bra) to soak up the sunshine. Ginger frolics off into the woods to sniff/roll in shit/eat grass and all the other fun things hunting dogs like to do while I enjoy about 15 minutes of sunshine in peace thinking about what I want for lunch.
And then it hits me. I want pasta, I want bacon and I want some sort of creamy sauce. Not exactly the pinnacle of health and kind of contradicts what I just said yesterday, but whatever. So I immediately get up and head to the fridge to see how I can make this work in some sort of healthy way. Ginger is nowhere to be found so I leave her outside figuring she’ll come back soon enough.
20 minutes later I’m knee deep in chopped vegetables, boiling soba noodles, raw eggs and bacon grease when I start to hear barking. A very specific bark. The kind a certain weimaraner who hates small children uses when said children are trying to cross our backyard and she wants to eat them.
So there I am with nothing more than rolled up shorts and a sports bra on while friggin soba noodles are boiling away on my stove. In case you’ve never cooked soba noodles, they only take 3-5 minutes to cook. I was on about minute #3 already, standing there waiting for everything to come together because the whole premise behind carbonara is that the pasta needs to be HOT to cook the eggs when you toss it all together. There’s no room for taking your time and letting the pasta drain while you run outside to save the neighbor from your child-phobic dog.
The logical decision was obviously to make a run for it outside and attempt to corral her in the one minute I had before the soba noodles overcooked. Overcooked pasta is a tragedy even when it’s Japanese and so are maimed neighbor children. Decision = obvious.
I’ll let you visualize the 30 year old, barefoot, half naked me running through my backyard in the middle of the day yelling at Ginger with tongs in my hand (because apparently I forgot to put them down in the heat of that decision making moment) to get her ass inside. It wasn’t pretty. It was probably a glimpse into what I’d be like as a mother. I’m not proud.
But the dog came inside, the pasta wasn’t overcooked and somehow I’ve avoided any weird neighborly glances (so far).
Moral of this story, kids?
Keep your clothes on.
It’s good advice for many situations in life, even when making carbonara.
Soba noodle carbonara
- 6 oz. soba noodles (2/3 of a normal package)
- 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated & divided
- 2 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
- salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk, 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, salt & pepper in a large serving bowl.
- Once water is boiling, cook soba noodles for 3-5 minutes until al dente.
- Drain noodles, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water and immediately toss with the egg mixture in the large bowl to cook the eggs.
- Add the vegetables and remaining cheese and toss to combine until peas are heated through.
- Top with bacon and serve immediately.
- If there are leftovers, store with the reserved pasta water to help retain moisture as carbonara tends to dry up easily.