My sister found a recipe for an Italian pasta dish called Bucatini Alla Carbonara, and made it for us on Memorial Day. She told me she’d heard about the dish from one of her online buds, someone from Italy who loves this dish.
Here’s another view of it, nestled on top of a lot of kitchen clutter:
It’s nice to have Italian food that isn’t Spaghetti and Meatballs, Lasagna, or Veal Parmigiani. I am convinced that those food items are the equivalent of Chinese-American staples like Sweet and Sour Pork, General Tso’s Chicken, and Beef with Brocolli…sorta ethnic, but varying wildly in quality and completely lacking in authenticity.
I think the main problem with these foods is that people know how the dishes are supposed to look, which makes it easy to meet expectations through visual presentation alone. That doesn’t mean that the food is good. It’s often mushy, overcooked, oversalted, and lacking in distinct flavor. I think of most bad Italian food I’ve had as “red and noodly with sausage and green peppers”, bad chinese as “fried and sweetish-brown with celery and carrots”, bad mexican as “beany, cheesy, and crunchy”, and bad thai as “coconut and lemon grass in brown sauce”. At my favorite restaurants, the dishes have to transcend these stereotypes for me to feel happy. There are a couple kinds of food that I still don’t really have a good feel for and enjoy most of the time: korean and indian; I am still developing my palate, I guess.
Oh, the Bucatini Alla Carbonara was excellent…good job, sis! You can make it for me anytime :-D