July 4 pizza due to the mansick
July 5 linguine carbonara
July 6 I had pretzels, Jen's mutant cherries and Hank had all that and a slice of pizza
When Shack is sick he wants to eat crap. I know, I don't get the logic here either because when I have the flu, the LAST thing I want to eat, if I eat at all, is gooey, cheesy pizza or a big mac. A bit of pho, a bowl of basmati rice with lots of butter, salt and pepper, maybe a piece of butter toast, sure, but pizza and Mc Donald's? Remember, men are from mars.
Tuesday was the first day that Shack felt kind of okay again so that meant we were going to need some sort of pasta, Shack's ultimate comfort food. Bolognese was out of the question because it's too damned hot for anyone (namely, ME) to cook a heavy meat sauce. Shack's next favourite pasta is carbonara, so, since we still had some farm fresh eggs left from the farmer's market and a bag of fresh, shelled peas waiting to be eaten, all I needed to do was run out and get some pancetta. I added a bit of chicken as well, just to make it a bit more hearty and also tried adding a bit of white wine to give it a bit of acidity to balance out all the egg and cheese. Sometimes I find carbonara to be tasty but too rich and the little glug of white wine was perfect. If these deviations turn it my carbonara into carbonarish I can live with that.
about 300g dried linguine
1 tbls olive oil
75g pancetta, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
a glug of white wine
1 cup blanched freshly shelled peas
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Get all of your other ingredients ready so you can them up while the pasta cooks.
Put the pasta in the pot (linguine cooks in about 9 minutes)
Beat the two eggs with the cheese and a good pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper and set aside.
Heat a heavy pan or pot like an enamelled cast iron pot over med heat. Heat the olive oil and then throw in the pancetta and cook until the pancetta is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add in the chicken and the garlic, salt and pepper the meat and sauté until just about cooked. Add a glug of white wine and cook that down until it's reduced for about 6 minutes. Add the blanched peas and the cooked pancetta and stir it all to coat well. If there is still a minute or so left for the pasta to cook, remove the chicken/peas/pancetta from the heat until the pasta is done.
I don't drain the pasta because I want the cooking water that clings to it to loosen the sauce a bit. I use a pasta spork thingy to remove the pasta from the cooking water and put it straight into the pot with the pancetta/peas/chicken and mix it all in.
While it's off the heat, add the eggs/cheese and stir it all up. If it seems really hard to mix in or too thick, add a small ladle full of pasta water to the pasta. You don't want the eggs to scramble so you need to do all of this off the heat so the egg/cheese mixture forms a nice, creamy sauce instead. Serve with more grated parmesan and, as always, I sprinkle my serving with lots of fresh chili flakes.