Hit or Miss: Making Carbonara Pasta with Two Replacements
Updated: May 1, 2020
In the kitchen- but also in flight itineraries, spa and hotel reviews-, I like to test out all the options and make each possible mistake (such as greeting/answering in Polish to the military in some dingy little Polish village airport to be polite and getting yelled at because I had to switch to Ukrainian and English to carry on the conversation, or getting lost near Jéricho and Palestine, which I naturally do not recommend- the people are incredible but my mastering of Arabic is a joke, also missing that Nazareth bus, that sucked, staying too long in the Dead Sea, or planning flights in and out of the Paris and Kiev airports non-consecutively to save about 100 dollars- spoiler alert, still worth it if you don't mind going through customs half a dozen times) so that I can tell people about it and help them make wiser choices when their turn comes. Oh one last thing, taking a 5 hour bus ride to the middle of the Ukrainian countryside in the middle of winter with no heating on-board. Another no-no I'd say.
Now. On a much smaller scale with less -scratch that- no consequences, we are doing the same today with spaghetti à la Carbonara. I like making recipes and replacing 2-3 of the traditional ingredients to see if the taste can survive my utter laziness (it is more so me not wanting to run to the store vs me being creative by choice). In all the scenarios I have listed above the potential threats were: sleeping in a Polish jail, heatstroke in the Judea desert, burning my skin due to the level of salt in the water, missing one of my 12 flights because I'm a cheap (curse word), hypothermia amongst ice-fishing villagers, minus the vodka (I can make that joke, I'm one of them). In our current case, the worst possible outcome is it doesn't end up tasting delicious. I think I can live with that.
You will need, (or end up with)
Fresh linguine pasta (1 pack)
Mortadelle (instead of bacon, 1 pack)
Mozzarella (instead of Parmesan, 3/4 cup)
French shallot (1, thinly sliced)
Yellow onion (1, chopped)
Garlic (4 cloves, minced)
Salt and pepper (for taste)
Here goes nothing,
(Just kidding, it was fine)
1. In a large pot over medium-heat, throw in olive oil and garlic and stir for 30 seconds (you would typically add the bacon first and then keep it aside, but Mortadelle is much thinner and contains less natural fat which in my opinion- not an expert one, mind you- did not warrant letting it have its own moment in the pot)
2. Add shallot and onion and stir for 5 minutes
3. Add Mortadelle and lower heat while stirring for another 10-12 minutes
4. In a separate bowl, prepare the egg and cheese mixture (mozzarella will not blend in the way Parmesan does and it won't really feel like a 'sauce' but just trust the process and keep mixing)
5. Throw in your cooked pasta (which you have boiled in slat water beforehand, I think we all know how to cook pasta) and mix
5. Immediately (the pasta's heat is needed for the sauce's texture to form), pour the egg mixture and toss the pasta quickly thtoughout the pot
6. Add salt and pepper, taste, and be proud of yourself for trying something new- I won't even take the credit
Verdict? Still delicious. Not your typical, classic taste but still cheesy and still pasta so can we really complain? Quoting Michael Scott, we could maybe, but shorn't.
''And what part of shorn't don't you understand!?''