Tatsoi Mac & Cheese

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

This is not your kids’ mac and cheese. 

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Serves:  6-8

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta shape)
5 strips bacon
3 cloves garlic2 cups chopped tatsoi, stem parts separated from leaves
1 tsp. ground paprika
2 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS
Heat water for your macaroni.

While water is heating cook the bacon in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat.  When bacon is done, remove to drain on paper towels and pour off excess fat, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan (or use olive oil).  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, or until tanned and fragrant.  Add the tatsoi stems and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring.  Then add the leaves, and sprinkle with the paprika.  Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until greens are wilted.  Remove from heat.

Cook the pasta as you like it.  Drain the pasta, quickly return to the pan, and stir in the eggs.  The hot pasta will cook the eggs.  Then stir in the sour cream, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper, if using. 

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, and garnishing with chopped cilantro.

A rich pasta dish like this will pair well with a range of wines, from a full bodied white, such as a California chardonnay; to a dry rose, or even a light or medium-bodied red.

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