Saturday, April 23, 2011

Grown Up Spaghetti

This looks like just a pile of spaghetti. Any old pile of spaghetti. The kind I've been eating since I was a kid. I must have been 1o or 11 years old when I started "cooking" for myself. I boiled water and made spaghetti with salt, butter, and parmesan cheese. I made grilled cheese sandwiches. I mixed flour and milk and butter and made misshapen biscuits. I loved my hot dogs with mustard and cheese. Cooking for myself as a kid meant I didn't have to eat vegetables and other weird things my parents made me eat when they were home.

These days I still make all those childhood favorites, but they've matured a bit. Grilled cheese is no longer made with American cheese and white bread, but instead a variety of cheddar, brie, goat, or mozarella on challah, wheat, or homemade Italian loaf. Hot dogs are topped with homemade ketchup, hot peppers, and olive tapenade. I make rosemary biscuits or bacon biscuits with real bacon fat. And just recently I discovered an all new grown up way to eat my spaghetti.

That plain looking pile of spaghetti is actually covered with a luscious sauce, an anchovy carbonara. It has the flavor of a seafood pasta or a linguine and clam sauce. The anchovies and garlic are cooked in plenty of olive oil, then spiced up with lemon zest, red pepper flakes, oregano and parsley. The flavored oil is tossed together with hot pasta, and then the final touch is to stir beaten egg yolks into the hot pasta to create a creamy finish. I could lick the plate, it's so good.

I love it when I eat something that reminds me of childhood and that special feeling of cooking something good, all by myself, all for myself.

Spaghetti with Anchovy Carbonara (Food and Wine)

12 ounces spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 2-ounce can flat anchovies, drained and chopped
Pinch of Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large egg yolks
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil with the garlic and anchovies and cook over moderately high heat until the anchovies have dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, zest, oregano and parsley, then add the pasta and toss to coat. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the yolks with the reserved cooking water and add to the pasta. Cook over low heat, tossing until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

1 comment:

  1. I like your style thoughts+recipes ...well done Shalaka :).