Phase one of carbonara experiment ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

04 April 2007

Phase one of carbonara experiment

Yeah, so while I was sitting around drinking merlot and waiting for my cabbage to macerate, John was making fullon dinner. It was a pretty normal sunday. We always end up hanging around in the kitchen making as much dinner as humanly possible, then eating similarly as much. Usually the dinner consists of whatever we've had an impulse for in the past few days. So we go to the store, pick out most of the ingredients we didn't have before (thus precluding us from cooking said impulses at the actual time of impulse) but forget at least one, come home, maybe run across the street to get some wine, especially if that's what we forgot, and start cooking.

In this case, John was kind of at loose ends. He's been trying to perfect his aglio e olio for a while; the end result has been perfect, delicious aglio e olio. So he needed a new way to build on that base. In conclusion, carbonara.

This was not precisely the classic carbonara. For one thing, we weren't exactly going to be using bacon, since half our population is vegetarian and the other half is not that into meat. For another, we had all these delicious onions lying around. So John switched some things up back and around the side, and came up with this variation.

Extra extra pasta carbonara

olive oil
yellow onion
hot pepper
fresh parsley
salt and pepper
grating cheese

First, caramelize the onion. Get a sauté pan warm over low-medium heat; chop your onions into half-moons. We used two whole yellow onions, which turned out to make the entirety of the pasta a bit too sweet. In the future, it would probably be one. Toss the onion in the pan with a generous amount of olive oil, stir to mix, and let cook slowly for much longer than you want to wait. Probably an hour or so is plenty; you want the onions to cook down into an extremely sweet, soft pile of golden mush. When they're verging on done, you can start the other prep.

Grab several cloves of garlic, a hot pepper of some type (red jalapeño, as usual), and a handful of parsley leaves. This choice of pepper left me wanting more spice; I would certainly want two peppers next time. Mince the garlic and pepper finely; roughly chop the parsley. In a second pan, sauté the garlic and pepper in olive oil until soft. In yet another pan, boil water and cook your pasta, then drain. We used linguine, but whatever you have should be fine.

When everything is sufficiently cooked, you're ready for assembly. Mix the onions, pepper/garlic, and pasta in whichever sauté pan is biggest. Then, working quickly so everything remains sufficiently hot, crack a couple eggs over the pan. Stir to mix well, breaking up yolks and etc.; the egg will cook to form a thick sticky sauce in the heat of the pan. Add your parsley, salt, lots of black pepper, and any other herbs you think would be delicious. I think John put some basil in; that was certainly good. Add whatever grating cheese sounds good to you; we used romano, as usual.

Serve as hot and eat as instantly as possible. This stuff will not keep well, considering its sauce is just egg, so try to eat as much as possible too. Then trundle off to bed, warm and sated.

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