From Blocked to Bowls

Even though my writing “bug” has been blocked, my cooking “bug” has been in full swing. HH will verify that since it’s his favorite time of year…Bowl Season!! Okay, so maybe he likes cookie baking season during the holidays a little more, but he still likes Bowl Season (although he may protest a bit occasionally, since meat and potatoes aren’t usually served in a bowl.)

In the past few weeks at the Diner, HH has enjoyed Beef Stroganoff

Chicken Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli

Heart Pasta with Artichoke Parmesan Sauce

And Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

I’ve been waiting to make the Spaghetti alla Carbonara for a while, even thinking about serving it for breakfast but I wasn’t sure HH would go for pasta for breakfast. With pancheta, egg yolks and parmesan I knew this would be creamy, delicate and rich. And it was. HH even liked it.

I saved the leftover for the next morning and was looking forward to having them for breakfast. I heated them up, got ready for the first bite and all of a sudden the creamy richness of the evening before was heavy and thick and the aroma was overwhelming – not appetizing at all. I don’t know what happened. I guess this is just meant as a dinner option for the Diner, or certainly not one that is meant for leftovers.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

To make this dish the traditional Roman way, mix the cheese, eggs, pepper, and pork in a bowl to create a thick sauce before tossing it with the pasta. This recipe appeared in "Eternal Pleasures," author Anya von Bremzen's tribute to classic Roman dishes (Saveur Magazine - April 2010)

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta cut
into 1⁄2" pieces
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more
to taste
1 3⁄4 cups finely grated Parmesan
1 egg plus 3 yolks
Kosher salt, to taste
1 lb. spaghetti

1. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2 minutes more. Transfer guanciale mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly; stir in 1 1⁄2 cups Parmesan and egg and yolks and stir to combine; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Reserve 3⁄4 cup water; drain pasta and transfer it to guanciale mixture. Toss, adding pasta water a little at a time to make a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper; serve with remaining Parmesan.


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