A curious caravanserai of notoriety and nonsense, poetry and prophecy.

“The Little Carbonara That Could”

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Boil about 5 cups (honestly I didn’t measure I just filled up a slightly above-average size pot a little more than 1/3 of the way) of water and throw in 250g pasta (this recipe feeds 4-5 people) – could be fettucine, I used some ambiguous curling tube semolina kind that was sort of grayish in color – for 8-10 minutes, boiling it with the lid of the pot off.  While this is going on, chop up a small onion, 6 or so garlic cloves (the ones I used were undesirably soft but not rotten) and sauté them in a small saucepan with about 1/3 cup I can’t believe it’s not butter (I’m sure real butter would have been better, but all we had was that spreadable margarine imitation stuff, so whatever). Add 1 oz. of dried porcini (or other? I don’t think it matters) mushrooms and ½-1 oz of chopped dried sundried tomatoes (I used the very salty herby kind) and fry them with the “butter” mixture. Add liberal black pepper to this as it cooks.

Now toss about a teaspoon of salt in with the pasta water. I forget why you do this, I just know you’re supposed to.  Now break 2-3 eggs into a small/medium bowl (I used two eggs and a third yolk cause the white of my third egg was frozen solid, unclear why), pour maybe a cup (?) 2% milk (this is what I bought for myself earlier this week, I just can’t seem to do skim these days, I dunno what happened, I saw the light I guess) into the bowl as well as some black pepper and beat the eggs up in the milk as though it were pancake batter.  Then put it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so – you don’t want the eggs to cook, you just want to warm them up, especially if like mine they are randomly half-frozen – so that you can blend the mixture more thoroughly with your fork and so that it’s luke-warm +.

Now add 3-4 of those triangular spread cheeses (like the Laughing Cow, although that was certainly not the brand we had in the fridge) to the milk/egg/pepper and kind of smoosh them up and stir them in a little.  Now drain the pasta – it should be cooked by now – take your mushroom pan off the heat and pour your milky egg cheese on top of the past still in the saucepan.  Stir it up vigorously so as much of the cheese melts and add 3-4 more cheese triangles (if you have any more) and try to crush and melt them into the pasta using a fork to stir (if you can). Pour/scoop the butter/garlic/onion/mushroom/sundried tomato mixture onto the pasta too and now stir it all together, adding a little more black pepper, table salt (can’t call for sea salt or fleur de sel in desperation recipes I am afraid) and soft cheese triangles (oh what I would have done for some Pecorino) and stirring it up hard.  Now cover the pot with its lid and let the pasta set for 5 minutes or so.  This is basically like an almost fancy but mostly just desperate mac n’ cheese recipe. I didn’t even have a glass of wine (illegal!) to accompany me through it all, alas.

Now you can scoop its clumpy deliciousness into bowls.  I would have garnished it with fresh parsley if I’d had any, so there’s a tip.

Honestly, I’d give this recipe about 4.2/5 on taste (and I’m a tough grader) and it took me very few ingredients and less than 20 minutes to prepare…so…just consider it.

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