Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jacqueline F.'s Pasta Carbonara


At long last, I find myself back in the kitchen! For roughly a month, we have been dependent upon my husband's culinary talents, our local restaurants and take-out. It is amazing just how often a "granola bar" can actually constitute a "meal."

So, tonight I cooked Jacqueline F.'s Pasta Carbonara! I went to junior high with Jacqueline's sister (Monique) and through the wonders of Facebook, have been able to keep in touch with her. Knowing that I like to cook, Monique shared Jacqueline's blog with me and I'm VERY glad she did. I love how Jacqueline writes and the recipes strike me as pretty no-nonsense--major plusses for a food blog! I've been subjected to pasta carbonara in a heavy cream sauce before, so I was happy to hear that cream shouldn't even enter the picture (according to Jacqueline). I will admit that I felt a compulsion to add white wine--I didn't--but I wanted to. Perhaps it is some subconscious belief that wine will cut the fat from the lardons? ;-)

I will tell you that this recipe is super tasty and SUPER EASY. I'm all for simple, basic ingredients. I didn't have any red pepper flakes, so I subsituted a little bit of cayenne and chili powder. I'm sure it would have been even more wonderful with red pepper flakes. But what I love most about a good carobonara (and this was no exception), is the way the bacon/pancetta infuses the sauce with its flavor. I served it with steamed carrots and a green salad, and a lovely GrĂ¼ner Veltliner. :)

Making this dish also came with a dose of unexpected nostalgia. Monique and I worked on the literary magazine together all those many years ago. She was a very gifted writer and someone for whom I had a great deal of respect (not something I could say about all my friends in junior high). While we were not close then, it has been really wonderful to find out how much we have in common---especially when it comes to musical and artistic taste. I'm absolutely thrilled to be a enthusiastic reader of her sister's blog (Rocket Lunch) now, and I look forward to trying more of Jacqueline's recipes--especially the No-Knead Bread!

I look forward to cooking and posting more regularly! If you have a recipe you'd like me to try, drop me a line and let me know!