We have tomatoes coming out of our ears! This is a great thing, considering they are heirloom tomatoes grown by our farmers Jared & Sara and by our very own Mark! He bought some heirloom starts at farmers markets earlier this year and they are bustin out with gorgeous tomatoes. On Saturday I went to Pizzaria Fondi in Gig Harbor to pick up some of their home made Mozzarella. YUM! We layered it with the tomatoes and tomatillos, some fresh basil, and olive oil & balsamic that I brought back from Italy were drizzled over the top. I LOVE that! This week Mark will make a tomato tart with a parmesan crust for the cafe, and we will be doing up lots of tomato salads for all to enjoy. I love tomato season!
I remember my grandfather growing cherry tomatoes in pots and the flavors were so great! That is what heirloom tomatoes remind me of: childhood flavors. Not all heirloom tomatoes are fabulous, just like every other food out there it is a subjective world. The ones we have been getting are so…tomatoey! Have you heard of the ‘canvolution’? It started on Twitter somehow (I don’t fully get the whole Twitter thing, even though I use it to update the web site with the daily specials) and it is a movement to get folks to ‘put up’ their own food. I have been invited toShauna’s later this month for a private canning event and I think I want to take tomatoes. As I understand it, this is a cooperative event: we all bring flats of produce and matching money for the food bank, and we all learn and help each other, then swap jars. I am not positive I can go yet, we have to see what orders come in, but I am going to try to make it! Do you can? Check out other local events (read: Seattle) here.
I cooked up a feast on Saturday, full of yummy roasted veggies from our CSA box (see the Jared & Sara link above). I was going to do it again on Sunday, and then ran out of steam. Mark has been wanting spaghetti carbonara and it sounded so good, so I made that. Now as easy a dish as this is, I have not mastered it and I always over cook it. The flavors are still fabulous, and since I overcooked it AGAIN on Sunday I have researched the heck out of it and I am going to give it one more try, as I am certain that I have fixed what I did wrong. My version is ultra traditional, and as always you can make changes to it. I have to recommend getting the freshest eggs that you can from a farmer’s market or farm stand, rather than the store, since we are not cooking the eggs in the traditional manner. This dish is comforting, easy, and oh so good! You can vary it in many ways, and then it becomes a different dish, and yet if it’s good that is great!
This is believed to be a Roman dish and did not really appear until WWII, so it is a relatively ‘new’ dish. The thing you have to do is trust the method and DO NOT keep cooking this, or the eggs will scramble to make it a dry dish. It’s ok, really!
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
2+ TBS olive oil
3/4 cup pancetta cut into a 1/4 inch dice (yes, you can use bacon, though it will be a different, smoky flavor)
8 large eggs (NOT jumbo eggs, NOT medium eggs, and definitely NOT small eggs; if you use a different size, adjust the recipe up or down accordingly)
1 cup grated cheese (I use 1/2 cup pecorino, 1/2 cup asiago, you can use parm instead of asiago)
freshly ground black pepper–a good amount of it, the flavor is key
Italian Parsley, chopped
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.
Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to color and become crisp. Turn off the heat and reserve.
Drop the pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it 1 minute less than it says on the package, usually about 6 to 7 minutes. Bite the pasta to check the consistency.
While the pasta is cooking, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheeses and season with salt. Whisk vigorously until it becomes a homogenous. Season generously with black pepper.
When the pasta is just about done, return the pan with the pancetta to medium heat. Remove the pasta from the cooking water. Toss or stir the pasta into the pancetta to coat the pasta with the remaining fat in the skillet. Immediately vigorously stir the egg mixture into the pasta. Stir constantly until the egg mixture looks like a cream sauce, about 2 more minutes.
mix in the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
You will love this dish for it’s ease and flavors! Tell us what, if anything, you will be canning this season, and what you love to do with your cans!