une tricoteuse nommée allison

a knitter named allison (who also does other stuff)

Pasta Carbonara Sans Ouefs (without eggs) February 16, 2009

Filed under: cooking,Creativity — A @ 10:03 am

Recipe time! (Apologies for mixing the French and Italian, but I had no idea what the Italian word for eggs is and couldn’t be arsed to look it up).

I used to love pasta carbonara, but over the past few years I’ve developed a problem with eggs. They make me violently ill. As a result, I quit eating my beloved carbonara because eggs are a key part of the sauce (raw eggs, to be precise). Even if you don’t have a problem with eggs in general, carbonara sauce can be tricky to make because the heat of the pasta and cream can rapidly cook the eggs on contact, turning the dish into something resembling spaghetti with scrambled eggs. This recipe is my adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s spaghetti carbonara from her book Feast. I’ve added peas (a favorite in my house) and omitted all eggs, faffing around a bit with the cream and cheese proportions to make up for it. It ends up much more like a carbonara than anything else I’ve tried, and is not at all as thick as an alfredo sauce. I made this for Valentine’s Day, and it was a big hit.

6-7 oz. (about half a box) angel hair pasta
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 oz. pancetta (substitute bacon if pancetta is not readily available)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3/4 cup half and half or cream
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Drizzle olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Put salted pasta water on to boil. Once at a full boil, add pasta and peas. Cook according to pasta package directions, or until al dente.
Meanwhile…Slice pancetta in 1/4 inch cubes.

In a large saute pan (that will fit pasta once cooked), saute garlic and pancetta cubes with a drizzle of olive oil until pancetta is browned but not crunchy or dry.

Add white wine and simmer until it reduces to a light syrupy texture.
Reduce heat to low. Add cream and parmesan cheese. Mix well while constantly stirring to prevent scorching. Cook until mixture is slightly thickened and hot all the way through.

Drain pasta and peas and add to pan with sauce. Toss well to coat.
Add salt and pepper if desired.
Dust with additional parmesan cheese before serving.

EDIT – 1/5/10…A year later I have learned that this recipe will not really work if you try to use 2% milk instead of the cream or half & half. Be advised.


Amy Sedaris and her fabulous crafty gift January 22, 2009

Filed under: cooking,Creativity,Misc,Sewing — A @ 10:46 am

The inimitable Amy Sedaris appeared on the Chelsea Handler show, and brought with her a very special craft project. In other news, I love Amy’s dress and shoes.
Warning: This may not be safe for work if your work objects to the word “vagina” or cuddly felt crafts resembling vaginas.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Hulu – Chelsea Lately: Amy Sedaris“, posted with vodpod

Nom nom, potato soup December 18, 2008

Filed under: cooking — A @ 11:07 am

Last night I cooked one of my favorite cozy-winter-evening foods, potato soup. My recipe is a loose adaptation of the “cream of anything” soup from the Better Homes and Gardens classic cookbook (they give you the template recipe and  you add the vegetable of your choice). In case anyone else feels like making some nommy creamy goodness, here’s my version:

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Peel 5 baking-size potatoes and cut into slices no more than 1/4″ thick.
Boil potatoes until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Drain potatoes and set aside.
Discard water from pot, return pot to stove on medium heat.
Put 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk (I used non-fat, but you can use 2%, whole or even cream if you want it to be richer and don’t mind the fat and cholesterol counts) into pot. Heat until thick and bubbly, stirring often and whisking to break up any flour clumps.
Add boiled potatoes to the pot. Using a potato masher or back of a large serving spoon, moosh and and smash the potatoes into the soup mixture until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk if the soup is too thick.
Season to taste – I used salt and Morton Nature’s Seasonings. Add more butter or margarine if desired.
Serve with oyster crackers. Optional: top with shredded cheddar and bacon. Also optional – stir in 2 cups cooked spaghetti (my mom and grandmother do this, but it isn’t my thing).
Makes about 4 bowls or 6 mugs of soup.