Spring has arrived but where we are there are still some cold grey days. Add to that the fact that we are in "Covid-19 lockdown" mode, most of us are feeling at least a little stressed.
There is solid evidence that Comfort Food actually can help to reduce short-term stress**
Today we offer a recipe for one of our family's favorite dishes:
Pasta alla Carbonara.
This pasta is basically made with pancetta or bacon and eggs. Bacon is fine if you do not have easy access to specialty foods like pancetta. In fact, many people in the US and Canada may actually prefer the dish made with normal bacon.
Ingredients Per Person:
3 slices of bacon or pancetta, cut into strips
1 egg, beaten
1 heaping tsp chopped parsley
Black pepper to taste
2 Tbs grated Romano or parmesan cheese
Optional; a few red pepper flakes. This is not supposed to be a spicy/hot dish, but we like to add a hint of zing.
3oz per person of a hard dry pasta like Bici or Bucatini. Spaghetti, or Linguini is fine as well.
Making the Pasta
Set water and handful of salt (1-2 Tbs) to boil.
Separately cook the bacon pieces until done/slightly crisp (if used, cook the pepper flakes with the bacon). Drain on paper towel.
Combine the egg, parsley, and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the egg mixture and the pasta.
Cook the pasta until al-dente then, using tongs, scoop the pasta out (do not drain it in a colander as usual) drain by holding it over the hot water, then drop the hot pasta into the egg mixture. This will set the eggs slightly.
Add the bacon pieces and the cheese, toss and serve in bowls that have been warmed.
* Most (but not all) "comfort foods" are high in carbohydrates and fat. A healthy diet is always a question of balance, so these foods are not an answer to chronic stress.
Next, we will share our recipe for Minestrone and Ribollita. Both are healthy and comforting.