Italian cooking has to be my all time favorite. So many flavors, textures and aromas. Italian pastas are a great way to stretch the food budget, too. Pasta is fillings. Whenever I make up a batch of Fettuccine anything, we are bound to have several meals out of it.
Recently I made what I considered to be a delicious semi-Italian Friday Night supper for my guys. As Hubby and I cleared the dishes, I commented that I really enjoyed the earthy woodsy-nuttiness that the blend of mushrooms, in particular the Porcini Mushrooms, gave to the dish. Hubby shrugged. I took that as disappointment in my choice for a Catholic Supper.
Hubby loves scallops. He would eat scallops for breakfast if he could (now there’s a thought – hum). This recipe calls for either Sea or Bay Scallops. What’s the difference, you ask. The long and the short of it is that Bay Scallops are much smaller, about 100 count per pound. In the US, these scallops come mainly from the East Coast. Their meat is much sweeter, less chewy than their less expensive “cousins” – the Sea Scallop.
If I had to describe this dish in a single word it would be scrumptious. I had some reservations – Dijon Mustard and Mayonnaise in the sauce – really? Yes, really. One word of caution, the dish comes together rather quickly, so make sure you have a clear path in the kitchen – there will be a great deal of jumping from task to task. Gather your ingredients, and have everything at the ready so it’s just a matter of dump and go on to the next thing.
A true, classic Bolognese is made with ingredients such as veal, pancetta and a good beef stock. When you are cooking on a shoestring budget, veal and pancetta aren’t the sort of ingredients you typically throw into the shopping cart. Not to mention the fact that some people object to veal from a purely ethical standpoint.
For those of you not familiar with Carbonara, this is a pasta dish that hails from Rome, Italy. It is traditionally made using eggs, Italian Cheeses (Romano or Parmesan or other fine Italian cheese) and Pancetta (Italian Bacon) that is tossed in a Spaghetti Pasta. The more modern renditions use Fettuccine, my preferred pasta. If you were to order this dish in Italy, cream and garlic would not be a part of the recipe, but outside Italy these ingredients have been incorporated to create a creamy, flavorful “sauce”. As a lover of all things containing creams and garlic, my Carbonara includes these non-traditional ingredients. Some people have even taken to adding peas or broccoli to their Carbonara. Personally, I don’t if for no other reason that I want to stay as close to the traditional dish of Rome while still satisfying my desire for cream and garlic. But hey, that’s just me.