Food is Love, Love is Food.

A blog devoted to the connection between meals, memories and the special moments in our lives.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sending Comfort, Remembering Dolly: Linguini Carbonara

My sister Betsy has been a dog person all her life.  As a young child, she pined for a dog.  The closest she came to having one was a scruffy stuffed dog named Murphy. My Uncle Jimmy even made an oil painting of that dog, and Betsy hung the painting above her bed.  So when she got her first dog, a black lab, she named him after that first furry friend. Murphy went everywhere with Betsy, including on the 21 hour trip from her home in Alaska to visit us in Connecticut. When Murphy was hit by a car and killed, Betsy was devastated.  Shortly after Betsy and her husband Mike were married, the first thing they did was get a dog, a black lab that Mike trained to hunt with him.  Dolly was such a friendly dog, that even my mother, an avowed dog-avoider, would take her on long walks with her when she visited Betsy and her family.  We were in Alaska a little over a year ago, and got to know Dolly very well.  Though her graying face told us of her age, she was energetic enough to jump into the Grand Central River when we stopped the car on the side of the road on our day trip out to Salmon Lake. Her tail would whip as you walked by, a little friendly greeting, and she loved nothing more than to be outside with the kids.  She was a faithful friend and a wonderful companion.

In my own family, we are fortunate enough to have two wonderful, if sometimes a little barky, dogs.  Before Chilidog came to live with us, I liked dogs, but because I had never had one, never really understood how beloved they could become.  Now, I cannot even imagine living in a home without a dog.  They are always happy to see you, never argue or talk back, and only ask for a little food and an occasional walk in return for their good and true friendship. 

So I am feeling for my sister and her family today.  Yesterday, they said goodbye to Dolly, the dog that had been part of their family for 13 years, and who had been a part of John and Sarah's entire childhood.  While my children talk about the time before Chili and Daisy came to be part of our family, John and Sarah do not ever remember a world that did not include their sweet Dolly.  If my sister lived closer, I would go to her house and make this meal tonight.  It is warm, creamy, salty, and comforting, and while it will not take one's sorrows away, it certainly makes them more bearable. With one of our favorite pasta dishes, we will toast Dolly tonight, the sweetest black lab we ever knew.

Linguini Carbonara:
4 eggs & 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
generous 1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
4 oz. pancetta, sliced (regular bacon will work too, but pancetta is better)
cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced.

Put the 6 eggs in a dish of warm water for about 15 minutes - the goal is to raise the temperature of the eggs without cooking them.  Cut the pancetta into strips, and cook in a frying pan over medium high heat until crisp.  In the meantime, crack 4 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks in a large bowl.  Add the garlic, pepper and grated cheese, and whisk together.  Add about a tablespoon of the pancetta drippings to the egg and cheese mixture (shhh!  don't tell my mother that part), and whisk again. 

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Strain the pasta, and place immediately back into the hot cooking pan.  Little by little, add the egg and cheese mixture to the hot pasta, using tongs to move the linguini around quickly.  Keep tossing to coat the strands of pasta evenly.  By keeping the pasta in the hot pan, the heat is retained, and the eggs are heated through thoroughly.  Add the crispy pancetta, and toss.  Serve with a little more of the grated cheese.

1 comment:

  1. wow what a simple looking pasta!bet its so tasty!