Garlic and Sapphires

When we were on vacation, I picked up a book at a thrift store. Garlic and Sapphires. Written by Ruth Reichl, it is a memoir of sorts that covers her time as a New York Times food critic. Although the cover looks a lot like "chick lit," it proved to be quite the opposite. She is a truly gifted writer and her stories are marvelous. Her detailed descriptions of food and restaurants made me want to change the way I dined out. If you like food--do read this book.

An added bonus is the recipes. With most chapters there is a recipe to go along with it. One that was particularly intriguing was for spaghetti carbonara. We made it today--wow. It was wonderful and I thought I'd share the recipe. However, I will preface this by saying that should your cardiologist ever turn to you and say--" [patient] your cholesterol is way too low and I think you should do something about it--oh, and also you could do with a few more carbs in your diet"--then you should cook this recipe often. If, however, your cholesterol is normal to above, it may need to be a sporadic treat, ya know, only twice a week.

Spaghetti Carbonara
(from Ruth Reichl, but paraphrased by me)

1 # Spaghetti or Angel Hair (we used latter)
1/2 # thick cut bacon
3 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly smashed
1/2 c. real parmesan, grated, plus more for the table
2 eggs

Fill a stockpot with water and generously salt. Bring to a boil.

Cut bacon into 1/4 inch pieces, begin cooking. When fat appears (around two minutes), add garlic and continue cooking until bacon is just crispy (not too crispy). Turn off heat and set aside when done. Remove garlic.

In a large bowl, crack the eggs and lavish with fresh ground pepper.

Cook pasta. Immediately, when done drain quickly and place in the egg bowl (a little extra water is okay). Stir the pasta. This will cook the eggs. Add bacon and most of the grease (hard, yes, but oh, so good!), toss, then add the cheese and toss. Voila! Serve immediately. Feeds 3 people well. Lavish with extra parmesan if desired.

This was an amazing dish. I couldn't believe that I had made it. It's absolutely perfect when you need comfort food (or your cardiologist gives you a mandate to up your cholesterol). If anyone cooks it, let me know!

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