Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I made this Giada recipe the other night: spaghetti with prosciutto, asparagus, and smoked mozzarella.
Sounds great, right? It was speedy to throw together and contained some of my favorite ingredients. But after eating it for dinner, and then for lunch the next day, I still wasn't sure if I liked it or not.
The flavor was pretty good. But the jury is still out on smoked mozzarella. I can't believe I'm writing that. But ultimately, I prefer plain mozzarella. Preferably buffalo mozzarella. Well, let's lay it on the line: I like burrata best. Ever since I ate at Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles last year, I've been dreaming of the sublime burrata the husband and I devoured there. The whole dinner was divine but that cheese just floored me. In fact, I'm pretty sure any kind of last supper scenario would involve me eating a giant ball of that burrata and then dropping dead.
Anyway, admittedly, I made some changes to the recipe, but nothing major. For one thing, I bought cappellini by mistake instead of spaghetti. I don't know what other people use cappellini for, but to me it's useless. It's so thin, I just don't think it holds up to much. The husband doesn't care for it either. When I held up the box in dismay, he shook his head scornfully.
"It's so flimsy!" he said, scowling.
I agreed. Luckily I had some fettucine on hand. So, that was change #1.
Change #2 was that the recipe only called for 3/4 lb of pasta. Whenever a recipe says to do this, I go ahead and use a full pound. A few strands of leftover pasta rattling around in my pantry is ridiculous. I'd rather just use the full box. I realize this shifted the pasta-to-stuff ratio. But still, not a dramatic adjustment.
The pasta had potential, but seemed to be lacking something. Being a sauce hound, I wanted something liquid or creamy to bind the pasta together. Even the husband agreed, and he's usually not sauce crazy.
"Maybe some ricotta would help," he suggested. "You could also add some bacon. That would be good."
I like how we were talking about making the pasta moister and he brought up bacon. How can I not love this guy? Most people would think of cream, or a little tomato sauce--not another pork product. But I knew what he meant. Frying up bacon in place of the prosciutto would at least add some more oil to the pan.
I think in the end, I liked this recipe, but I felt it needed something more. I'm still ruminating on it. Any ideas? And next time I'm definitely using regular mozzarella.
Or maybe I'll just skip the pasta altogether, get myself a big ball of burrata, a baguette, and a bottle of wine. I'm pretty sure nothing could go wrong there.