The real test in judging any particular food item or product is to try it in something simple. Point in fact, a chicken shows its true feathers when it is simply roasted with minimal herbs and spices and comes out of the oven all juicy and tender with a crisp golden skin. How about a slice of warm home made bread slathered in unsalted butter, or a bowl of perfectly cooked garden fresh peas glistening like little green jewels? Ok so that last one just made the Big Guy go "ewww" but I really wanted to see if he was actually reading this. Ha.
Well, the same premise was necessary in trying out our home cured wine fridge pancetta that we talked about the other day. What better way to have it than in a simply cooked carbonara.
Pasta carbonara is my favorite go to dinner as witnessed by the fact it's shown up several times during the two plus years we've been blogging; however I have to admit I've never tasted anything quite as good as the one we had last night. Talk about break my rubber arm patting myself on the back, right?
Chunks of perfectly spiced pancetta sauteed till crispy, along with freshly minced garlic, eggs, parmesan cheese and a touch of cream mixed into perfectly al dente spaghetti - well it was unbelievable. There's absolutely no substitute for the "savory-sweet unsmoked flavor of pancetta", particularly this home made version. Considering so little time and effort goes into its creation, there is no way I'll be parting with another $4.99 for 4 ounces of store bought stuff when I can have my own with its incomparable flavor and quality for less than 20 cents an ounce, never mind the satisfaction that comes from having created something so darn good in your very own kitchen!
So listen - get off your duffs and put that wine fridge to even better use this summer. I mean, what's the big deal anyway? You get to drink all the wine in it to make room for pancetta, and then you get to enjoy truly exceptional pancetta AND fill your wine fridge up with wine all over again. I ask you - what could be better than that?
Now - I'm off to buy a combination lock for our freezer in the garage just in case. I mean if anyone wants to help themselves to whatever they want in the house they can just go ahead, but I'll be darned their gonna' take our bacon. MMM wonder if I can get the insurance company to cover it.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara (a JBug’s Kitchen version of the real thing)
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked to al dente per package directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, cut into quarter inch cubes
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pasta cooking water as required
Freshly grated black pepper
Flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden. Add garlic, stirring often to make sure it doesn’t scorch. Cook for 2 minutes or until garlic releases its flavor. In a small bowl, beat together eggs with parmesan cheese.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions to al dente stage. Drain and immediately add hot pasta to skillet. Remove skillet from heat, add eggs beaten with parmesan cheese and toss well to coat. Add cream and pasta cooking water as required to make a creamy sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings. Download Spaghetti alla Carbonara
A year ago - Mongolian Beef