Spaghetti Carbonara is a long running obsession in my family. My Dad’s obsession, that is. He must have tried every recipe under the sun and we must have sampled dozens of versions. With cream. Without. Some claggy. Some too wet. Some too eggy. Just never quite right. Alway nice, but never reaching the dizzying heights of perfection. Then not too long ago, Dad finally served the ultimate rendition and it reminded me of the pure and fantastic simplicity of Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Eggs and bacon. Perfect in every language.
Category Archives: Eggs
If I was an organised type of a person I might have posted this recipe prior to last Tuesday so you could actually enjoy it on that long-looked-for annual event, Pancake Tuesday. Well, if I was an organised type of a person I might have even made this on Pancake day itself. But if you haven’t realised by now, I am definitely not an organised type of a person even at the best of times. It turns out that at 8 and 1/2 months pregnant I am a dishevelled and discombobulated mess. As such I didn’t get myself together to make these beauties on Tuesday last (I think I was probably napping at the time), so we ended up having a Pancake Wednesday instead. But, you know what? Pancakes are damn good on any day, so I give you leave to make these on any which day you like. The ricotta along with a hint of lemon zest adds a delicious twist to the American style batter, whilst the smatter of raspberries and very British lemon curd make for the perfect combination.
You know sometimes you look at something in a cook book which looks delicious but you know that if you recreated it at home it would look nothing like the pretty picture in the book? Well when I saw the spinach and feta filo pie in Jamie Oliver’s new book I thought exactly that. But lo and behold, I cooked it and it looked exactly like the carefully styled picture in the book. And it tasted damned good too.
Whilst I was on my recent pregnancy-enduced spice kick my body demanded chilli pretty much wherever it could get it (I know you know this, but it dominated my diet for a good while so it’s natural it will crop up in this here diary of my kitchen, innit?). After some serious consideration I realised that the only way I could reasonably wrangle chilli in pre-midday was to dish up a spicy breakfast burrito. This I did. A good many times. The below recipe is the product of my furtive chilli endeavours.
If there is one thing that America knows how to do it is breakfast. When I lived in America, after a night on the town we regularly used to make late night visits to IHOP (The International House of Pancakes) for a post-match recuperative carb-fest. A couple of times I passed out in the car before we even reached the car-park (sorry Mum), but if I made it to the booth I only had eyes for one order: a blueberry stack with bacon. Now breakfast is one of my favourite meals (along with dinner and, um, lunch…!) – and no doubt through the course of this blog you will hear me wax lyrical about numerous breakfast wares – but truly, blueberry pancakes with bacon is the perfect breakfast. Sweet spongy pancakes, dotted with juicy tart blueberries, served alongside salty bacon, all smothered with ladlefuls of maple syrup. Genius.
Part of the point of this blog is to get me to cook things that I don’t usually, for whatever reason. One such thing is cheese soufflé. Perhaps it’s my of a fear of failure or perhaps it’s because whenever I’ve thought of doing it, I’ve been cooking for friends and it feels like too big a risk: what if they don’t rise? I couldn’t possibly serve deflated soufflés to real people (real people being any one other than Sven or me)! Shocking isn’t it? I recently realised that the reason I don’t experiment too wildly with flavours or mess around with classic recipes is because to me food is all about feeding people (hence the name of the blog). I can’t take the risk that the food I put down on the table might be anything but delicious. I’m stopping slightly shy of saying food is love, but you get the picture.
This is one of those situations I have mentioned before where I, in my first year of blogging, reserve the right to do the obvious thing. The fact is when the winter coat goes into the loft and you really feel that spring has sprung, you just want asparagus and lamb. We have been conditioned in Brighton to equate these two ingredients with the resurgence of the sun. After months and months of dreary winter, of hearty stews and warming pies, suddenly one day you will discover you don’t need your scarf and will wish you had put your sunglasses in your handbag. And on that day, on that very day, you will find yourself putting some lamb chops in your basket and checking to see if the British asparagus has timed its arrival to perfection. And when that day comes, I say originality be damned…