Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bucatini - Two ways! Bucatini Carbonara and Bucatini All'Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Bonjour mes amis! So I've decided to dub this week "Pasta Week" to excite my girlfriend because of her love for pasta. My last post was linguine, although it wasn't pasta week then, but I'll still count it!!!!

On my weekly trip to Fresh Market on my bike, I saw some cool looking pasta. It's called Bucatini and is a really thick pasta, but this is where it gets different. It has a hole in the middle! I decided to get a bag of this because I love trying new things. I figured this was a kind of pasta that could be used with nearly all sauces. The holes would soak up cream sauces and the large surface area of the noodle would carry oil nicely, too!

After watching an episode of No Reservations in Rome, I was inspired to make one of my favorite dishes: Spaghetti Carbonara. Contrary to popular belief, carbonara contains nooooooooo cream. Nearly all carbonaras you eat at a restaurant will make it some sort of belt busting creamy nightmare. Carbonara shouldn't be that, it should be a light dish with an exciting taste.

Ingredient list for Authentic Bucatini Carbonara:

  • 1/2 lb of Bucatini
  • Olive Oil
  • Two ounces of Pancetta
  • Two eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley
  • Half a cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, or parmesan.
Ok this is a really easy recipe. First, boil the noodles in liberally salted water. Once they're cooking, put some olive oil in a pan and start frying the pancetta at a med temperature. You don't want these frying up into little crisps. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn, it should be like bacon. In a separate bowl, combine the two eggs and cheese until they're melded into one. Once your noodles are done cooking, strain them, and pour them into the pan with the pancetta and a tablespoon or two of the pasta water. Then take it off the heat and pour your egg/cheese mixture. Yes the eggs shouldn't exactly be cooked and yes the yolks might be slightly raw, but what's the difference between a sunny side up egg yolk and this? Don't worry, it's not gross. It's delicious. After combined, plate the pasta before the eggs get a chance to solidify. Sprinkle parsley and salt and pepper on top.

For the next dish, I decided to tackle one of Italy's most basic dishes: Aglio e Olio. This is italian for garlic and oil. I also decided to knock this mother up a notch by roasting both my garlic and jalapeno pepper. It's really easy, actually. Take your garlic and cut the top off of the bulb so nearly all of the cloves are exposed. Put it in aluminum foil and then pour olive oil on top and close. For the jalapeno: just put it in aluminum foil with olive oil too, then close up. Roast these in the oven at 375 for about 35 minutes. When the garlic is done, it should be soft and spreadable and delicious.

Ingredient list for Aglio e Olio:
  • 1/2 lb of Bucatini
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Four cloves of roasted garlic
  • Handful of Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes/salt/pepper
Boil your noodles in liberally salted water. Then put about three or four tablespoons of olive oil in a pan with four cloves of roasted garlic and half the jalapeno. Cook this at a low temperature so everything remains tender. When the noodles are done, strain them, and put them in the pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and then toss. Plate with parmesan cheese and the other half the jalapeno. 

These recipes are extremely easy and extremely tasty. Good food doesn't have to be hard, it just has to be respected.

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