Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pasta Carbonera

Yay for high-fat, high-carb diets!

Today was one extended foodgasm.

Morning: dropped by Synergy (butter), Safeway (hey! no one else carries Nutella), Trader Joes (balsamic, olive oil), and the Menlo Park farmers market (French carrots, baby beets, strawberries, garlic). Had a cappuccino and a bowl of berries with creme fraiche before heading to Oakland. Discussed whether food blogging is a useful medium for critique with Will on the drive north.

Afternoon: met up with Aaron and Christina, my two core partners-in-foodsnobbery from college. Lunched at Gregoire off Shattuck (pulled pork loin with date chutney and greens on baguette, potato puffs, and tomato soup; all divine). Coffee at Cafe Guerilla, a funky joint on Shattuck that featured a live hip-hop DJ, fantastic photography, and a lively staff. First time at Berkeley Bowl, where I spent an hour wandering around the store, cradling a pepino melon and oogling their diverse bounty of foodstuffs (they carry chestnut spread! joy!). Back to Aaron's house for wine, cheese, berries, and sunshine. Brainstormed a delicious tart recipe we may try later this week. Hopped back on the 101 to Palo Alto.

Evening: decided to try a new recipe that necessitated the day's sixth trip to a food distributor (ninth if we count restaurants). Got a call from John on my way over to Whole Foods, decided to combine gustatory forces. Stuffed selves silly.

Life is bliss. Also, I should buy some elastic-band pants.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

3 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2/3 lb. pancetta, sliced into 1/2 in. strips
2/3 c. white wine
1 lb. spaghetti
1/4 c. pecorino romano, freshly grated
2/3 c. parmesan reggiano, freshly grated
2 Tbs. parsley, minced
2 eggs

Heat oil with garlic cloves, allow to brown (~ 1 min). Remove garlic. Add pancetta, cook until crisp (5-6 min). Add wine, simmer until thickened (2-3 min). Remove from heat. In pot of salted water, bring pasta to boil and cook until al dente. In separate bowl, combine cheeses, parsley, egg, and whisk in 1/4 c water from boiled pasta. Toss in pasta and pancetta mixture. Pepper generously.

Oh god. I'm going to be up front with you, I licked my plate clean after this meal. Seriously. Manners be damned.

Also, I chopped and steamed two of the fat French carrots from the farmer's market, tossing them with parsley and olive oil. These carrots were fantastic -- full of depth, sweetness, and earthy flavor conspicuously absent in standard carrots, even organic varieties. The baby beets, on the other hand, were insipid. I nibbled one before preparing them and decided against serving them to others. I think it is still too early in the season. Sigh.

Oh man, the wine John picked out was fantastic as well, and I am not much of a white wine girl. Fruity and complex without sickly sweetness that puts me off other whites. Not that I know diddly about wine -- but I do know this is the first white wine I've finished a glass of and went for seconds. Noblio Sauvignon Blanc, 2006, a paltry $9.99.

Oh dear, time for sleeping! My second favorite bedroom activity (mmm, breakfast in bed).



Kit said...

dude. I just had a really good fatty meaty pasta last night at the small italian place near school:

orecchiette pasta with peas, proscuitto, pepper, parmesan and white truffle oil

Kit said...

btw, i die for good bunch carrots and french haricot verts