Friday, March 03, 2006

Where's the Spaghetti?

Eatzycath's Kitchen Rule: when cooking pasta at home, the pasta topping should always overwhelm the pasta itself!

Of course, a true pasta lover will probably disagree, being just happy to eat his 'al dente' spaghetti with great olive oil, golden bits of garlic and coarse-ground black pepper. Me, I'm into pasta sauce bigtime. Being paranoid that there may not be enough sauce and topping to go around, I always end up cooking more than actually required for the pasta itself.

Hubby is of the view that I should stop this kitchen rule immediately, not exactly helping with his or my waist-girth at all. *SIGH* Breaking a habit is tough, especially when there's little incentive to do so.
Pasta Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara, being so simple to cook, has ended up in a myriad of styles in different kitchens, and naturally in my hands, a lot depends on what's in the fridge (note: since I'm heavy-handed with my topping, I haven't indicated the exact amount of ingredients below, except for the sauce which should be sufficient for two medium-sized portions):
  • sliced small strips of ham and bacon are pan-fried in heated olive oil with some chopped garlic for a few minutes
  • sliced button mushrooms, green peas and half a sliced red chilli are added to pan and fried for a couple of minutes more together with salt and pepper to taste (and in case you're wondering, red chillies are never found in an original carbonara sauce but I like the slight heat from the chilli providing that hint of underlying contrast to the creamy carbonara sauce)
  • beat 2 really fresh eggs (extremely important that these are fresh eggs since they will not be cooked over heat) with 3 tablespoons of single cream (and 1 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese - I normally skip this unless I have good Parmigiano Reggiano, and heaven forbid any substitution with that dry stuff in a green bottle called Kraft's Parmesan Cheese)
  • drain the cooked al dente spaghetti and mix with the fry-pan ingredients, pour in the egg and cream mixture and stir well - the stirring coupled with the heat of the just cooked spaghetti will help to cook slightly the raw egg mixture (note: carbonara sauce is usually not recommended for pregnant women and young children due to this raw egg element)
  • garnish with shredded basil leaves (and grated Parmesan, if you like) and finish off with a bit of wristwork to the black pepper grinder
A noteworthy trivial from a fellow foodie - "did you know that humans have 10,000 tastebuds but pigs are supposed to have 15,000 tastebuds?". Hmmm, would it be too much to ask for the sophisticated palate of the pig?


Blogger slurp! said...

yummy! very rich but satisfying meal. I think only egg yolk are used for Carbonara right? so you have skip Parmesan Cheese this time as well?

3/04/2006 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi slurp!, you are right about the egg yolks but I added in the whole egg this time around and yup, I skipped the Parmesan altogether!

3/04/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said... rich for me....i still like mine with sliced garlic and sliced dried chilli sauteed in olive oil and season with salt and crushed black pepper....Heaps of parmesan might help.......usually i go without them

3/04/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

Yeah, I know how you feel abt parmesan cheese - the real deal is the only one for me too. Your comment abt the too much pasta topping reminded me of what I did last night. I overwhelmed my kuay teow with the mince but you know what, it was delish!

On the tastebuds thing, yeah, if we were like pigs, then we can go hunt for truffles in the ground just like them.

3/05/2006 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi foodcrazee, may seem a bit rich but actually it's not really that bad! i love aglio olio at times too!

hmmm, kuey teow with mince (?) (minced pork?), sounds good. And your truffle-hunting suggestion is a most excellent idea, if only we had those tastebuds!

3/05/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

I love lots of sauce too. I know that is not traditional but oh well. Yours looks very delicious.

3/06/2006 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

boo - lolz...dont let anyone call ya CHI THAU --

3/06/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks fran :)
foodcrazee, we don't really want a pig's head on us, just transplant the tastebuds... :P

3/06/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Godknows said...

This is one of my favorite sidh which is so easy to prepared at home. Your pic is great.

3/08/2006 12:26:00 AM  

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