What To Cook: dinner ideas and recipes, quick and easy cakes, meat and vegetarian dishes
The Italians are shaking their girarisos menacingly again, this time towards New York. Reputable NY Times has committed a crime against the sanctity of Italian cuccina by publishing Smoky Tomato Carbonara recipe. The farmers and the chefs are up in arms against the ‘falsification’ of traditional Italian cooking.
Well, what do you think? Because personally, the idea of spaghetti zinged with tomato, with bacon instead of guanciale (what? exactly!) sounds more enticing than the eggy pasta with fatty lardons which is so traditional. And the third criminal action, replacing statutory Pecorino with Parmesan – frankly, I probably wouldn’t notice.
But that’s Italians for you. I know the cuisine is revered almost beyond all others but how come no Polish chefs or farmers ever kick up a stink about the abominations like ‘pierogis casserole’ being cooked up across the ocean? I for one am mighty pleased pierogis are going around the world, even if they stuff them with Cheddar in America instead of cottage cheese.
If you agree with my outlook that recipe is a guide rather than a dictator, let’s sock it to the Italians this week. My own carbonara is possibly more abominable as it’s a bake – but how delicious. At least I don’t call my other pasta with cream and bacon recipe by the ‘c’ word.
There is pasta with pepper sauce seasoned with a touch of cumin – I’m sure it’s unorthodox. And my super quick supper dish of potsticker tortellini is probably akin in inautheticity to the pierogis casserole business.
I make chicken Fiorentina all in one dish – wrong, but how right on the washing up. And – wait for this or rather: aspetta per favore! – I make my conchiglioni filling the same way I cook beef chilli.
Of course, there are simple perfections not to improve on like osso buco or pizza bianca, and I completely agree they overstuff porchetta anywhere north of Rome.
Plus there are desserts where you completely should follow recipes or risk a spectacular fail. And I’m not talking only about pana cotta, where you can hardly swap the main ingredient, but also lemon ricotta cake. It will certainly NOT be just as good if you use cream cheese.
So there we have it - cooking more or less Italian this week seems to be not such a bad idea. Until next week then!