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Family driven comfort food

September 1, 2010

There are so many benefits to a great family. One of mine is that they keep me focused on mastering the basics. At least once a week as I am brainstorming a new concoction they say “how about a simple…..”. As my good friend Ken always says, “all the gourmet stuff at restaurants is great but show me you can roast a perfect chicken and I will be impressed”. Yesterday was one of those days.

We were enjoying a lazy Sunday and my wife and daughter said how about a pasta Carbonara? At first I was like “boring” and then I was excited. I wanted to make them a perfect Carbonara. Pappardelle (wide, flat egg noodles) cooked in well-salted water, finely chopped shallots and garlic added to bacon that had become golden in really good olive oil and butter. 3 egg yolks and a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese whisked together standing by. Al dente pasta dragged into the pan right out of the water with tongs so that some starchy pasta water made its way into the pan. Toss for a moment to allow the egg noodles to absorb the roasted garlic, shallot and bacon flavor and then heat off (if the heat is on when you add the egg you will curdle the egg instead of creating a creamy sauce). An energetic few minutes of stirring in the egg yolk/cheese mixture and voila! The wide noodles were coated with enough sauce to make your mouth water and your arteries throb but not too much as to allow the wide noodles to still stand proud on the plate (over-cooked or over sauced noodles lay flat on the plat and have no chew). A few turns of freshly grated black pepper and a chunk of fresh baguette. The pasta was rich with bacon, butter, olive oil, egg and cheese yet no one flavor dominated. The smoky pork flavor of the bacon was the first taste but was quickly tamed by the nuttiness of the Parm, the green olive note of the oil and the always-welcome richness of the butter. The black pepper offered just enough heat to wake up your mouth and keep you going after the next bite. I had one chunk of bread left to mop up the plate. Nobody was talking but everyone was smiling. A successful comfort food afternoon. Gracias a mi familia!

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly Aluise permalink
    September 2, 2010 12:48 pm

    Yummy! I’m so impressed with your abilities both with cooking and writing!

    Keep the great tips coming.

    Kelly 🙂

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      September 7, 2010 7:33 am

      Thank you Kelly! Thanks for reading and keep in touch! Enjoy your cooking! Best, Jeffrey

  2. Mary Dyson permalink
    September 2, 2010 5:00 pm

    Well, to start love carbonara and will definitely give this a try. Have moved back to NJ hence new e-mail and am living with my brother and sister in law until our house sells. What a pain not having my own kitchen!!!! Good move though. Really enjoy your posts and will someday make the many of the recipes. (Their palates are very different then mine)
    Be well and keep em coming

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      September 7, 2010 7:35 am

      Hello Mary, good luck in the transition. I am sure it will all work out great and you will be back in your own fully stocked pantry! Don’t stop until it happens! Take care, thanks for reading and have a great week. Best, Jeffrey 🙂

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