Interview with Joel Berg of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger – 01.07.16

Joel Berg is a nationally recognized leader, and media spokesperson in the fields of domestic hunger, food insecurity, obesity, poverty, food-related economic development, national service, and volunteerism. He is executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and a former Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?, the definitive and most well-reviewed book on American hunger of the last decade.  He is also author of the forthcoming book America We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation, due out in fall 2016.


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Spaghetti Carbonara ala Portobello Mushrooms

1 Ib. Whole Wheat Spaghetti

2 medium organic onions or 1 large, diced

4 portobello mushrooms

½ cup (+/-) extra virgin olive oil

¼ t. red pepper flakes

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

10 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 organic eggs

2 t. tamari

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Truffle oil for drizzle (if desired)

Cook pasta according to directions, 8-10 minutes till firm (al dente)

Time it, so that the pasta just comes out of the water, when you are ready to mix it with the eggs and cheese, so the hot pasta will cook the egg.

Meanwhile, coat bottom of cast iron pan with olive oil. Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to get crisp. Add the 2 t. of Tamari and sear the mushrooms, coating well with the Tamari. Add the red pepper flakes. In a bowl, beat the eggs and mix with the cheese. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan and coat well with the mushrooms and onions. Remove from heat, and add the egg/cheese mixture, tossing well to cook the egg on the hot pasta. Add the parsley and toss again. Add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid until the desired consistency is reached. (I used 3 TBs.) Drizzle with truffle oil (if desired) and garnish with parsley and more cheese.