Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Food June/July '09: The Egg Part 3: Carbonara

Marcella Hazan, the goddess of Italian cooking, in her masterpiece The Essentials of Italian Cooking passes along an Italian food history legend. American soldiers in the final days of World War II would ask local families whom they had befriended to make them a pasta sauce from a favorite American combination - eggs and bacon. The results are a disaster for my rear end but heaven for the mouth - Carbonara. This recipe is a simple version of Marcella's with a slightly different cheese flavor. Great to serve at a dinner party with fresh tagliatelle where the whole meal can be cooked in 15 minutes. On a weeknight, dried boxed spaghetti is a house fav. and it just takes a bit longer to cook dried pasta. Serve with a simple side salad of arugula - the sharpness will break up the heavy feel of the pasta.

1 pound pasta - fresh or dried
1/2 lb. aged pancetta or slab bacon
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 eggs
1/3 cup Parmesan - grated
1/4 cup Romano grated
1/4 cup Asiago grated
pepper to taste
fresh oregano to serve

Put up a pot of boiling water for your pasta. Dice three fresh garlic cloves. Slice pancetta or slab bacon into small long cubes, much like a julienne. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat, add garlic and cook stirring for 3o seconds. Raise the heat to medium high and add the pancetta, stirring frequently until slightly crispy and the fat is rendering off the pork - roughly five minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, deglazing the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the juicy bits off the pan. Let cook on medium low until the wine is nearly halved - essentially creating a thicker consistency reduction.

While the wine is reducing, and you are cooking the pasta, Take the bowl you are serving the pasta in and add three eggs, beating lightly, and all the three cheeses as well as fresh pepper. Drain the pasta and add to the serving bowl, pouring the bacon and wine on top and toss. I like to add fresh oregano to garnish. DO NOT salt before tasting - between the pancetta and the cheese it should already be salty.

1 comment:

  1. Krissy and Lori
    I thought of my daughters last evening as I sat through the new movie JULIE AND JULIA. I don't know when I was move captivated with more joy and pleasure for two hours....laughing all the way.
    For those two hours, Meryl Streep WAS Julia Child. Her expressions, her dress, her mannerisms and her infectious laugh reminded me of a special time gone by. Her bio proved her to be a woman who was far ahead of her time with a clear vision to introduce fine French cooking to the American housewife. This feat most probably proven to be a more successful Euro-American diplomatic mission than any other before. Learning a new culture through its cuisine is one of the most fundamental ways to study a country's people and heritage.

    Coming from a European heritage, it was always my mission as a Mom of two daughters, that they experience the world around them so that one never assumes one narrow mind set. This is why as parents we encouraged your travel and exchange experiences as frequently as possible.
    Now I see the results....Krissy, for someone who hated the study of foreign languages, you have discovered your appreciation of other cultures through your amazing culinary talents. After you see Julie in the role of the young woman who starts a blog so she can share her progress of preparing each and every one of Julia Child's receipes in 365 days, you will want to blog yourself as frequently as possible. You have something to share AND you love to cook and you love to explore the ever growing need to enrich your childrens'lives by researching what clothing, food and toys are most fun, safe and economically sound. I am so proud of the dedicated Mom who have become.
    By sharing through your blog, you give others the opportunity to do the same.

    Lori, having spent a good part of your life living in Paris and countryside, you will watch this movie with complete envy. You will be able to identify each street scene, I am sure, and you will enjoy listening to Julia attempt to learn the French Language. Most of all, you will appreciate a lifestyle that enriched and strengthened your own self awareness and encouraged you to choose a course of study and career that was out of the mainstream. I am so very proud of you for persuing a career in the wine industry, even with all its challenges as a woman.
    As Julia sips her wine with each course she cooks, I am sure you will be guessing the vintage, the region and of course, the taste.
    You have the uncanny ability of introducing and recommending wines that enhance any meal, without necessarily breaking the bank. Most often your recommendations are wines I know I have never heard of before. You open the door for everyone who enjoys a glass of wine to calm the senses or to enhance their meal.

    It is my hope and both of you continue your blogging efforts and I will help you in any way possible. I believe there is further potential with your ideas, and we can discuss this privately.

    Here's to Julia and all she gave us!!!!