V. and I have decided that we need to take better advantage of all the incredible culture New York has to offer. So for the past 2 Saturdays, we have spent several hours exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed when you first enter because there is just an infinite number of things to see. So we picked specific sections and tried not to look around too much and get distracted by other rooms and signs. Last week we went to the new  Islamic wing and yesterday we looked at Chinese art. So many beautiful Buddhas and statues!!

In all my years in the city, I had somehow always missed that part of the museum. And apparently I’m not the only one, because there were almost no people, whereas in other areas it was push and shove. It would be a great place to come and sit if you wanted a little quiet time.

We then completed our day of culture by going to see William Shatner on Broadway. Ha!

Looking at art makes you hungry! We had a piece of cake at Cafe Sabarsky before the theater, but we were ravenous by the time we got back to Brooklyn, so I whipped up a quick Spaghetti Carbonara. It’s a hearty winter meal and incredibly easy to make. It helps if you have some shiitake bacon on hand, but you could substitute chopped sundried tomato, or even some finely chopped mushroom, quickly sautéed and added to the pasta at the last minute.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara

1/2 lb of spaghetti (we used whole wheat)

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated parmesan 

1-2 tblsp. ghee, butter or olive oil

2 cloves garlic

grated zest of 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup shiitake bacon

1 tblsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the eggs with the parmesan, making sure the cheese doesn’t lump together.

In a sauté pan, heat the ghee or oil and cook the garlic until just fragrant.

At the same time bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the rest.

With the heat turned off, mix the pasta with the ghee and garlic and then immediately mix in the egg and cheese. You want to move quickly because the heat from the pasta will be what cooks the eggs. Add a little of the pasta water if you feel like you want to thin out the sauce.

When everything is well incorporated, mix in the parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the pasta and top with the shiitake bacon.