Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bacon for Brinner

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) . . .

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.”

Sausage Carbonara

(Linguine all carbonara di salsiccia from Jamie’s Italy)

4 organic Italian sausages

Olive oil

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.


chou said...

You just managed to make me so hungry. :) Great Homer quote, great picture, and way to recruit for the bacon society!

Adam said...

Yeah, now I want bacon >_>.

Alex Rushmer said...

Oh, so true.

ARLENE said...

Oh, yes; that's what I'm talking about. I confess I'm all about lunch, but once in a while a good linner or brinner can make my day. :)

Denise Clarke said...

Sounds great, I'm gonna come over to your house fro brinner!


Mandy said...

Love this! I made pasta carbonara for the first time last month and thought it was REALLY yummy and very easy. I like this version with the sausage and lemon peel. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Jefferson said...

I just found your blog and love it. Good stuff!

ncfoodie said...

Chou: Thanks for the comment! I've added a link to your website.

Adam: I love your picture. You're clearly an actor.

Alex: This recipe calls for lots and lots of Parmesan!

Arlene: Thanks for stopping by!

Denise: Come on over. And thanks for your website link!

Mandy: You're welcome. The lemon zest is what puts this one over the top.

Jennifer: Thank you. Come by again soon. I'm hoping to post today.

Pam said...

My kind of meal. It looks amazing - especially all the cheese on top. I can never resist bacon.

Jennifer said...

Sounds delicious :) Too funny - it was bacon-wrapped scallops that pulled me away from my vegetarianism! Thanks for the blogroll add!