Tonight's recipe is a complete 180 degree shift from yesterday's. Yesterday, I tackled a recipe that appeared to be challenging, was fairly complicated and took a long time to cook. (Delaying the blog post until after 9 PM! Sorry about that one...) Tonight, Maggie's recipe is simple, straight forward and was on the table when I walked in the door. However, this quick concoction didn't end up tasting like a 'quick-fix' when it was all said in done. I'll turn the keyboard over to Maggie and let her share her experiences.
The Recipe: Giada's Carbonara
Original Recipe Found In: Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites
What You'll Need
For the Basil Aioli:
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Basil Leaves
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup EVOO
For The Pasta:
1 Lb. Linguine
1 Cup Shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese
Hello everyone!! I swear sometimes that Tyler reads my mind...not sometimes, MOST of the time. As soon as I get done cooking one week, I immediately go to the next week, wondering what kind of dish to make. This was the case last week - I ran all my possible sources dry, wondering if there was something I could cook this week. Lo and behold, on Saturday, Tyler gets me, not only one, but THREE cookbooks...well, technically two, since the Flavor Bible isn't really a cookbook, just a pairing guide. But the other two were from my two favorite celebrity chefs (my number 1 chef being my incredible fiancee) :)
I've always admired Giada de Laurentiis - I would come home from school and catch her show on the Food Network. She always made cooking fun and easy and I wanted to have that much fun when I cooked. I already have a cookbook of hers and most of the pots and pans we have in our kitchen are from her Target line. So, to say I'm a fan, is a bit of an understatement. Nevertheless, I went to her cookbook first to start my fresh batch of recipes.
I started with a pound of linguine pasta - the bag we purchased of pasta was 2 pounds, so I cut it in half and cooked that half. Meanwhile, when the water was warming up, I sliced up four slices of fresh Italian bread, just as a nice little side to the main dish. I love the smell and feel of fresh Italian bread - it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I also fixed up a little dish of oil and seasoning, something we found as a ready-made container (only needing to add oil), just to go along with our Italian bread.
4 slices of tasty!After placing the pasta in the now boiling water, I fixed up the Basil Aioli (try saying it, you'll find yourself tripping over your tongue. EYE-OH-LEE) I dumped all the ingredients in our new food processor, one at a time. Now, when it came to the dijon mustard, I, for some reason, thought it said two tablespoons. After I went to my cookbook to put in the next ingredient, I read "two TEASpoons." I muttered angrily to myself and tried to rescue some of the now submerged mustard, but to no avail. I kept it in, hoping it wouldn't botch the recipe too badly. Once everything was added, I blended the ingredients in the food processor for three 15 second bursts.
As of today, I hadn't "played" with our food processor. Let me tell you, that was a treat! Seeing all those ingredients get mixed in together in a whirlwind of speed....pretty darn cool.
After the pasta cooked for ten minutes, I thoroughly drained said pasta and transferred to a separate dish. I topped with the Basil Aioli still sitting in the food processor (it has a spout! that makes life easy!) and added the pecorino romano cheese, threw a little salt and pepper in the mix, and tossed the whole dish together with a pair of tongs - which, happen to also be from Giada's Target line.
The End Result:
After I took my first bite, I threw my hands up in the air and exclaimed "I DID IT!" Not that I just cooked, but cooked a decent recipe that nothing went terrible awry or something went wrong. The pasta and the Basil Aioli was a good combination, not too heavy of a sauce, and it coated all the noodles just perfectly. The cheese made a great addition to these recipe, coating and sticking to the noodles.
Now, I don't know if it was the extra mustard or the strong flavor of the cheese, but there was a bit of a tartness, or bite, to this dish. I really don't know what it is, and maybe as my tastes mature, I'll be able to pick out what it was, but it was a little too strong for both our tastes. But overall, this recipe turned out well, and it's very simple to make and throw together. I was hoping at the end of this recipe, I could rename this recipe Maggie's Carbonara...but I think I'll let Giada take the fame on this one.
Thank you Maggie. Tonight was a very interesting dish. I've always come from the school of thought that pasta had to have a good sauce to make it edible. Without some alfredo, marinara or other thick (preferably meaty) sauce covering it - I didn't see the purpose of pasta. However, since we've started cooking for ourselves, Maggie has tried a few 'sauceless' or near sauceless (I.E. NAKED) recipes and I've found myself enjoying them. Tonight's recipe was no different. The basil aioli mixes so well with the pasta that it is nearly invisible. The flavor combination is a surprise, given the low key presentation. There is nothing low key about the flavor. It hits your taste buds with a BAM and sticks around until the last bite.
Maggie mentioned the bite. There was a strong bite to this dish, one that I feel comes from the pecion romano cheese. That cheese is a stronger version of parmesan cheese and it can override a dish if used in large quantities. Since tonight's dish had a full cup's worth, I point my finger at the cheese when identifying the culprit for the 'bite'. (Although 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard probably didn't help matters any!)
That's all we have for you tonight. I'm back tomorrow night with my own 'simple' recipe. I have 2 ingredients and the cooking time is 15 minutes. However, they aren't 'simple' ingredients - and one of them I have never eaten before...EVER. Stop by tomorrow to see how everything turns out. Until then,