Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I’m never one to waste food. My old bread gets made into croutons and bread crumbs. Leftovers usually end up in soups or salads. And when I use a few egg yolks for baking, we usually end up having meringues.
But extra egg yolks are another thing. What do you do with a couple of egg yolks if you don’t feel like baking? This happens more often than you’d think, since I’m partial to cocktails made with egg whites. One of my favorites is a recipe I picked up from Food & Wine’s Ultimate Cocktail Guide. I love it since it mixes some of my favorites - Pisco and Campari - and froths up really nicely. (I also get to use the limon di picas I have growing on the terrace.) It’s called a Parasol, and is as pretty as it is tasty.
After having whipped up two delicious Parasols I was left with two lonely egg yolks. Bright and cheery, organic and free range, they were part of the bag of goodies I picked up at D.O.L. over the weekend.
I had already planned our dinner: Cacio e Pepe. Vincenzo had sold me a chunk of Pecorino that he swore made the best Cacio e Pepe. In fact he stocked it primarily for this purpose. Since several other ladies in the store seconded his opinion, I decided to follow everyone’s advice. I had also bought some fresh taglierini, specially made for DOL with whole wheat Senatore Cappelli flour.
So, in theory, there was no place in this dish for eggs. Eggs were for Carbonara, not for Cacio e Pepe, right? But then I thought, “Hey! who says I can’t put eggs in Cacio e Pepe?!” (I was already half way though my cocktail at this point and may have actually been talking to myself).
And so I boldly broke with tradition and added my two little egg yolks to the Cacio e Pepe. And you know what? It was a fantastic idea, if I do say so myself. It made the dish just a tiny bit creamier and richer, but not overly eggy. This was not a cheesy, guanciale-less carbonara. It was something new.
Cacio e Pepe (with egg yolk)
400 gr/1 pound fresh pasta
120 gr / 4 oz aged pecorino, grated
2 egg yolks
2-3 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta.
In small bowl beat the egg yolks with the egg and pepper, just until mixed.
When pasta is done, drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Place pasta in large bowl, and add egg mixture, stirring quickly to coat the pasta.
Add handfuls of cheese, mixing as you go, and alternating with a bit of cooking water so it doesn’t get dried out. Keep doing this until you have used all the cheese. You want to add the cheese slowly so it doesn’t all melt and clump up.
Grate a bit more fresh pepper on top and serve.
(From Food & Wines The Ultimate Cocktail Guide)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1 oz Pisco
2 oz Campari
1 egg white
Add all the ingredients, except the ice and bitters, to a shaker. Shake well, for 30 seconds. Add ice, and shake again. Strain into glass and top with 4 drops of bitters. Use a toothpick to swirl them around, to look pretty.