Thursday, November 13, 2008

the next episode

How to begin . . . this blog is the result of a life-long passions for food, the desire for a new creative outlet, and one wine-fueled discussion at a wedding. The conversation went something like this: Erin: "So I've been thinking about starting a food blog." Jill: "OMG did you see Darcy's pictures??" (received in email that week, images of kitchen exploits, including delicious vegan cupcakes!) Erin: "Mmmhmm." (drinks more wine. Glug glug) Jill: "You two should start a blog TOGETHER!!" (you have yet to meet Jill, but the Italian is very demanding) Erin texts Darcy in wine-induced haze. Blog is born! Which brings us just about up to speed . . . I really wish we had a better blog creation myth, but them's the breaks. We are here to share our ridiculousness and our kitchens and hopefully learn a bit in the process. But for now, let's start with the basics, and one of my all time favorite, easy to make recipes - Spaghetti Carbonara. Yum. Carbonara is a mythical creation. Lots of different groups want to claim responsibility for the dish, but my personal favorite story, and the one that i embrace as the truth is this: the American soldiers who liberated Rome in WWII somehow came upon a few select ingredients - bacon, eggs - and an Italian cook whipped up a dish, and voila! Carbonara was born. Now, some cooks and restaurants use cream in their Carbonara, but that makes it an alfredo sauce and a whole other story! So sticking to the basics, here is my favorite version, courtesy of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Enjoy!

Carbonara (yields 6 servings) 1/2 lb. pancetta 4 garlic cloves 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/4 c. dry white wine 2 large eggs 1/4 c. freshly grated romano cheese 1/2 c. freshly grated parmigiano reggiano Freshly ground black pepper Chopped parsley 1 1/4 lbs. spaghetti 1. Cut pancetta (or bacon) into 1/4 inch strips 2. Lightly mash the garlic with the flat of your knife, enough to loosen the skin, which you will discard. Put the garlic and olive oil in a small saute pan and turn the heat to medium high. Saute until the garlic is a deep golden color, then remove and discard it. 3. Add strips of pancetta (or bacon) to the pan, and cook until the edges just begin to crisp. Add the wine, and let it bubble away for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. 4. Break the eggs into the serving bowl in which you will subsequently toss the pasta. Beat them lightly with a fork, then add the two grated cheeses, a liberal grind of pepper and chopped parsley. Mix well. 5. Add cooked, drained spaghetti to the bowl, and toss rapidly, coating all strands of pasta. 6. Briefly reheat pancetta (or bacon) over high heat, turn out the entire contents of pan into bowl, toss again, and serve immediately! * a wee note. If you happen to be particularly crunched for time, as i was this evening, here is the shortcut version: while the pasta is boiling, crisp your bacon in a pan. Whisk up your eggs in a separate bowl, seasoning them with pepper, a dash of parsley (if you have it) and your cheese. After you drain the pasta, add it directly into the saute pan of bacon, pour in the egg mixture, toss the whole thing together, and you have no-hassle Carbonara.

7 comments:

Kris said...

Whooooooo!

Awesome.

So, this is just a suggestion, but would/could it be an idea to suggest a vegetarian version of some of these recipies. I know that's me being a snob, but I'd love to try your sauce recipe w/out the pancetta.

Of course, then it's not really Carbonera.

Erin & Darcy said...

i like that idea and as the veggie half of yumcoast would love to throw in my two cents about good replacements for meaty / creamy ingredients. and erin can go wild de-veganizing my things ;-)

for carbonara i think thinly sliced marinated tempeh or smoked tofu would be a good replacement for the pancetta for a decent vegetarian version. however, going beyond that to veganize a recipe that is basically bacon, eggs and cheese has me a little lost. although now i kinda want to try it....
-darcy

nancy said...

wow that sounds yummy.and pretty easy. do you have any great thanksgiving ideas?

Erin & Darcy said...

i was thinking about that as well. i want to test out a veggie version of carbonara. i might see how soy bacon would work!

Erin & Darcy said...

AND, i'm going to try to use recipes that are relatively easy to make the veggie version of. i just happened to make carbonara that night . . .

Jill said...

i am so excited! YAY for yum coast!! i cannot even tell you how thrilled i am about this.

a few points:
*demanding italian?! hahaha!
*i do not use OMG in conversation... do i?!?!?!
*don't think i didn't notice that this entry is called "the next episode" ... rock!
*i have a suggestion as well... perhaps you two can sign your entries with a d or an e? those of us who know you both will be able to tell who's who, but just for others.

okay sorry that this is so long but i'm just excited.

erin said...

jillita - excellent idea! we can certainly sign off on our posts. even tho it's a bit more mysterious not signing our entries . . .

and no, i don't think you actually use OMG in conversation, but it just kind of added to the story ;)