We all know one. They’re faithful vegetarians . . . except when it comes to bacon. Bacontarians. Why do they slip? It’s not really their fault. For the pig has preternatural power.
As Homer exclaimed (in what may be the most over-quoted Simpsons' line in our household), “What is this magical animal?” Magical indeed. Pork fat can even get sleeping children and partners out of bed on a lazy Sunday. “Are you cooking bacon?!!?” my daughter will yell from the top of the stairs.
To me, the smell of bacon or sausage in the morning is both comforting and rousing; the sizzle and the scent create a sense of coziness. It makes me feel safe and cherished, even when I’m the one doing the frying!
When we’d visit my grandparents in Dallas, and I was about five or six, my grandfather would wake up at dawn. Soon after, a slightly smoky air would waft into my room, and I’d scurry to get my slippers on. Those early mornings were for me and him. He’d make link sausages and sweet rolls—the most decadent and delicious breakfast imaginable. I loved to see my grandpa at the stove. He was a tall, almost regal man, and he always wore a chef’s apron to keep his clothes neat. And he bestowed upon me that pure adoration that only grandparents can give. I would bask in his attention, happily munching on sweet rolls and sausage, and feeling absolutely content with the world.
Here’s the only cult I’m not ashamed to join (and the source of my opening picture) . . . http://www.royalbaconsociety.com/blog/
As Jamie Oliver points out, this recipe includes eggs, sausage, and bacon, so it’s a lot like having breakfast for dinner. In our house, we call it “brinner.”
(Linguine all carbonara di salsiccia from Jamie’s Italy)
4 organic Italian sausages
4 slices of thickly cut pancetta, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. dried linguine
4 large egg yolks, free range and organic
½ cup of heavy cream
3 ½ oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Slit the sausage skins to pop the meat out. With wet hands, roll little balls of sausage meat, about the size of marbles. Heat a large frying pan, add splash of olive oil. Fry the sausage meatballs into golden brown, add pancetta and continue cooking until golden. Start a pot of boiling, salted water, add the linguine and cook according to package directions. In a large bowl, whip egg yolks, cream, half the grated Parmesan, the lemon zest, and the parsley. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a little pasta water, and immediately toss the pasta with the egg mixture in the pasta pot. Add the sausage and pancetta, and toss together. The sauce should be smooth and silky. (If it gets too sticky, add a little reserved cooking water). Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan on top, season if necessary, drizzle a little olive oil, and serve.