Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I've been waiting a long time to make this again

Linguine Carbonara
Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook Copyright 1996, 2001, 2002, 2004

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
¼ pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup red or white wine I used white with a splash of red because I was a little short on white
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 eggs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
½ teaspoon salt
¾ pound linguine I used Dreamfields pasta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a small stainless-steel frying pan, heat the oil and butter over moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown but not crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, and pepper. Simmer until wine is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, and salt.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta, add it to the egg-and-cheese mixture and toss quickly. Pour the bacon mixture over the linguine. Add the parsley and toss just until mixed. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan.

Serves 4.

The first savory recipe I ever followed, word for word, was a recipe for carbonara. It was out of a magazine, possibly Young Miss. I did a lot of cooking as a child, most of the family cooking actually, and I would use recipes for guidelines but this was the first time I did everything as stated in a recipe, with no substitutions. I had never had carbonara before and I haven't had it since. It was delicious so why have I avoided it? Probably because I made this when I home alone and ate it all myself. It's taken me about 25 years to get over the guilt associated with this dish. Bacon. Eggs. Butter. Cheese. I know I make dishes all of the time that are more caloric than this but I had a real mental block when it came to making this again. (But maybe I'm not being ridiculous - Kristen at The Way The Cookie Crumbles made this three weeks ago and hasn't blogged since. Did she suffer a massive coronary? Is she laid up with a bad case of gout?)

But I'm glad I got over it. This was awesome. My two year old loved it too and it was so simple to prepare. I'm not going to start making this everyday but I will make it again. And again. Hey, at least I used Dreamfields pasta, even though it costs 3 times as much as regular pasta.

I think I have maybe one more recipe from this series this week and then I'm going to pack them away for a while since I've been relying on them too heavily. I had a recent cookbook buying binge (yikes!- but I'm still under my $100 budget for the year) so I'd like to give those new books a chance as well as the shelves full of older books you still haven't seen anything from.

Question of the Day: Are you willing to pay a premium for healthier food choices?


The Cookbook Junkie said...

It burns my butt but I will pay more for some 'healthier' alternatives. I'll buy the Dreamfields pasta but not everytime, and mostly when it's on sale. I only give my son organic milk, which is not only more expensive than regular milk, if he drank the regular milk the daycare would provide it at no additional cost.

Randi said...

How much did you pay for the dreamfields? I paid 1.29 on sale at Kroger. I stocked up though so I;m good to go for awhile. I do pay more for premium ingredients such as parmesean reggiano. I figure since we do eat out that much its worth it.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Randi, I think I paid $1.49 or maybe even $1.79. This week they're on sale for $1.79.