Because food doesn't always come in bento

I didn't have time (or rather the motiviation) to make a bento last night.  I rather spent the evening on the couch watching the "La Vida Loca" DVDs, which I gave Sweetie as a birthday present on Saturday.  Watching these younsters and the way they face death on a daily basis is quite chilling. Entering a gang is a personal choice of course but can you really speak of choice when you have no other options?  For short, I highly recommend this documentary to anyone.

Back to food. Even if I didn't make a bento, I kept busy in the cooking & baking field this weekend, so I am going to share some of it. Incidentally it will also help me to keep the blogging rhythm. :o)

This post will have like my bentos a savoury and a sweet part.

Tagliatelle a la carbonara

I made Tagliatelle a la carbonara for last night's dinner, and I did it the Italian way i.e. with eggs and NO CREAM. I wonder why they always insist on putting cream in carbonara in my neck of the woods, when it's obviously unnecessary. Now I won't pretend that my version is the only legitimate one, because in the end it's just the taste that matters.  But this one was really good.

Googling up recipes for this dish, will lead you to hundreds of different recipes and variations, something for every taste. I'm going to add my version to that pile of recipes as well, who knows one of you might find it useful :o)

Ingredients I used (for two servings):

* tagliatelle (or any other larger size pasta - fettucine, linguine, ...)
* 3 eggs (if you want to make it in larger amounts, count 1 to 1,5 egg per person)
* 180 g of bacon (you should use pancetta if you have it available, but I couldn't find any)
* 60 g of grated pecorino cheese
* 1 tsp of garlic paste
* lots of ground black pepper
* chopped parsley

Separate the whites from the yolks and put the yolks in a bowl. Whisk them as if to make scrambles eggs, season with salt and pepper, add the grated cheese, mix well and set aside.

While cooking the pasta (in salted water), fry the bacon (or pancetta) sticks with the garlic paste in olive oil until it's nice and cripsy .

When the pasta is al dente, remove from the cooking water (without draining it too much) and add it to the skillet with the bacon, still on medium heat. Toss the pasta and the bacon, season with fresh ground black pepper.

Remove from the heat, pour the egg mixture on top of the pasta and toss until everything is coated with the eggs. The residual heat of the pasta will cook the eggs. If it seems to be too solid, add a bit of the pasta's cooking water to "loosen it up".

Add some freshly chopped parsley and serve hot.

And because no meal is finished without desert, I made a Baileys & Mascarpone cake.

Baileys & Mascarpone cake

I saw the recipe for this cake on Miriam's blog, The Winter Guest, and as I had leftover mascarpone in the fridge, I decided I'd give it a try. After all, anything sweet AND containing Bailey's can't be anything but delicious.

The mascarpone was storebought but I will be making my own next time, because it seems rather easy to make (have a look at the link Miriam referred to in her post).

Miriam used agave syrup in her recipe but because I never encountered that type of syrup while shopping, I asked her if I could replace it with sugar. She advised me to increase the sugar amount to 200g, as the syrup sweetens more than regular sugar, and add an additional 80g of vegetable oil to the batter to make up for the syrup's liquidy.

The kitchen smelled deliciously of Bailey's (attracting all kind of curious houseguests to the kitchen) and the taste of this cake is simply divine. I think I will leave it in the oven just a bit longer next time (there will be a next time for sure!), because when the wooden testing stick came out clear, I took it out of the oven immediately for fear of the cake becoming too dry and just a bit less moist would have been better. In my rush to get it out, I managed to burn my arm but it's nothing I won't survive. This delicious cake was worth any blister :o)

L'heure de vérité


Lyndsey said...

Looks wonderful! The cake is perfect! I want some now! :D

Lia Chen said...

Still enjoying reading your blog with those delicious foods. Sometimes I felt unmotivated too ... :)

bentobird said...

Yummily indulgent!

Andi said...

I LOVE pasta with carbonera sauce - looks yummy!

Miriam said...

Oh my!!!! Your cake looks stunning! I'm glad you made the oil variety and liked it. Cheers!