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.
Tag Archives: Pasta
I think by now my regular readers will have gathered that I’m a complete and utter Italiaphile. I love the country, the people (my grandma being one of them), and most of all the food. Despite it’s no doubt devastating effect on my (ever-growing) waistline, I have pasta two or three times a week and, as with most people I’m sure, I have my favourites that never fail to delight and satisfy in equal measure. Most are ready within 20 minutes – surely one of the major perks of pasta – and all are delicious.
Sage is my favourite Christmas herb. In fact, it’s probably my favourite Christmas flavour. It needn’t be reserved for Christmas at all of course (one of the best uses of sage is gnocchi tossed in sage and butter – perfection), but around Christmastime I always seem to go a little bit sage crazy. This year was no exception and I found myself with an absolute glut of sage to use up (aw, shame). Short on time and energy (due to a rotten cold, which I still have, wail!), I decided to experiment with some sagey pastas to work my way through my sage excess.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m mildly obsessed with Italy (!), so when Bertolli invited me to an evening with Gennaro Contaldo I assented without a moment’s hesitation. As well as being a very successful, talented and well-published chef in his own right, Gennaro is the mentor and friend of our nation’s sweetheart and my cooking heart-throb, Jamie Oliver (who I am also mildly obsessed with). I was in, for shiz. The evening was billed as an Italian Cookery Workshop, so I was excited to see a little bit of Gennaro in action, get some tips and maybe a little taster too.
I know that in many of my posts I have referred to my childhood as an inspiration for the idea or recipe (like when I made chutney or in reference to my mamma’s lasagne), but food to me is all about nostalgia and I personally have been so influenced by my childhood experiences of food. Most of my strongest food memories have involved seafood. One of the very earliest memories I have is winkling on the Dorset coast. My entire family armed with buckets trawling the rock pools for periwinkles, before boiling them up and using a pin to tease the little mantles out and dipping them in vinegar.
It’s Valentine’s day and Sven is taking me out to Riddle and Finn’s for dinner tonight (which I’m very excited about). However, being a person who thinks food is love, I couldn’t get through the day without demonstrating my love for Sven in some gastronomic way. I therefore decided to cook him a special pasta for lunch designed especially for him (small portions so we can manage our seafood platter later tonight).