03 January 2008

A few words about spaghetti carbonara

So, I think I made the best carbonara I've ever made last night. So simple, so fast, so awesome, four ingredients. I've really settled on the fact, though, that the most essential step is to leave the eggs out to get to room temperature before cooking. I used 250 grams of spaghetti, 2 extra-large eggs, a mound of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a heavy dose of diced pancetta. The pancetta I used was very lean, so I didn't have to pour off any of the fat after frying it up. I simply fried it until it was crispy and left it in the pan. I boiled the spaghetti and when they were just al dente, I took them direct from the water into the warm pancetta pan, swirling them around so that the water on the noodles effectively deglased the pan. The noodles also soaked up those traces of fat that had rendered off the pancetta. I had beaten two room temperature eggs with a generous dose of Parm. I stirred this into the noodles, then realized that I'd forgotten to warm the pasta bowls. I simply dipped a cup of pasta water into each bowl and let it sit for a minute. By that time, the spaghetti had firmed up. I dumped out the water, portioned out the spaghetti into the two bowls and served. Topped with more cheese and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper.


M's brother gave me for Xmas a bottle of white truffle oil and a bottle of lavender vinegar from a place called Oil & Vinegar in Chicago. They had suggested dressing a salad with a combination of the two. I'm usually a bit leery of white truffle oil, as I find it can be a bit overwhelming, and the combination sounded weird, but, again, damn. This was seriously one of the best salads I ever made. Ever. And I didn't really make it. It was just spinach, grated carrot, oil, vinegar and salt. Really incredible. If you're in Chicago, stop by and pick me up some more of this stuff.

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