Yesterday morning, Alex says, "Do you mind if I make Pasta Carbonara tonight."
"That sounds great. I would love that." We haven't made Carbonara in ages. I tried to remember how much Parmigiano-Reggiano was in the fridge. "Do we have enough cheese, or should I pick some up?"
"We have tons of cheese. Oh, and I'm going to put some collard greens in it."
"That's fine. I won't have to make a salad."
"And I was thinking about making hand pulled noodles."
Thinking he was going to make the long, thin ones, I agreed. That would work with Carbonara sauce. Later on, Alex was puttering around the kitchen, cleaning collards greens and making dough. The collards were cut a little bit bigger than I was expecting, but Alex and I never seem to have the same vision for any one dish. Next I see him dicing up chunks of mortadella.
"What's that for?"
"The pasta. I'm using it instead of bacon." Oh. Well, that will work. I'm sure it will be good. I'd rather have bacon and the dice seemed pretty small, but it was his dish.
Several hours later, Alex was running out to the rock gym. "Do you mind braising the greens for me while I'm out?"
"Sure. I'll braise them in chicken stock."
"Can you add some hot sauce."
"Lots of hot sauce."
"Sure. See you later."
Just before dinner, Alex and Amaya were getting ready to tackle the noodles.
A few minutes later I look over to see Amaya busily pulling noodles and flattening them out according to Alex's instructions to create a sort of thick pappardelle. Meanwhile Alex was cooking something in a deep saute pan. I wander over and discover that he's making scrambled eggs.
"Um, what's this?"
"Scrambled eggs. I hate the way carbonara sauce gets all thick and heavy. I thought I would fold in chunks of eggs and use it instead of in the sauce. I put a little cheese in the eggs"
Hmm. So apparently we were having some sort of butter and cheese sauce with carbonara-like garnishes. And wide, thick noodles. I watched him put the dish together. Nope, no butter involved here, no additional cheese either, just a dusting at the very end when the dish was plated.
"So, how is this Pasta Carbonara?"
"What do you mean? This is totally Pasta Carbonara." I just looked at him. "Okay fine, it was inspired by Pasta Carbonara."
I sighed and took a bite. It was delicious, even if it wasn't anything faintly resembling Pasta Carbonara.