Monday, June 2, 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara

It's my mother's birthday today. If she was still here with us, we would have celebrated her 56th birthday. It's always hard to go through days like these. Most days I am perfectly fine, but when it's a birthday or an event linking to a deceased loved one, I can't help but feel an empty space in my heart. It doesn't matter what age you lose a parent or how long it's been, it's always painful. On days like today, I like to imagine what life would be like with my mom beside me. She'd most probably be with me sitting and talking in the kitchen, preparing whatever ingredients we needed for lunch or dinner. Then later in the day, when SO would be back from school, she'd be after her asking for hugs and kisses, giving her a bath, and putting her to sleep. She was an amazing woman, an amazing mother, and most probably would have been an amazing grandmother! I haven't had a lot of vivid dreams of my mom since I lost her. And for a while, right after I gave birth, I wondered to myself if my mother was looking down at me and was proud of the mother I was becoming. In a lot of ways, I am like her, but I also have my own parenting skills. Finally one night, I remembered dreaming of her - SO was in her arms and she was standing gently cradling her granddaughter, singing sweet songs to put her to sleep, and laughing. She looked so happy with shiny eyes full of love and compassion. I never questioned myself after that. I knew she was definitely looking down at me and she was approving.

A lot of nights, SO and I are alone for dinner. MR is working afternoons and he gets home at around 10PM.  I can tell that SO misses father-daughter time. I try to make up for it, not with gifts or material things, but spending quality time with her. Whatever I'm doing I include her in the activity and I also let her guide me in imaginary play with her toys. An example of an activity we try to do together is cooking. SO absolutely loves pasta. But she's not a fan of tomato sauce, so I usually make a cream sauce. I try to share whatever knowledge I have. Tonight I wanted to make Spaghetti Carbonara, but I wanted to make it the traditional way (or at least I tried!).

In a bowl, grate 50 grams of Pecorino cheese (I used Parmesan cheese).

Add 2 eggs to the cheese and beat with a fork.
In the meantime, boil some salted water and cook 250 grams of spaghetti. Drain and set aside.
In a small frying pan, fry 100 grams of guanciale (pork cheeks) - you can also substitute with pancetta or in my case lardons.

Next, add the fried guanciale and stir. Then, add the eggs/cheese mixture to the spaghetti and mix well. The eggs/cheese combination will create a creamy sauce. Just make sure to mix quickly so that the eggs don't cook and become scrambled eggs. If you mix it in the pan, make sure that the pan has cooled down or you can do it in the bowl. Season with black pepper.

Dinner is served: Spaghetti Carbonara


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