Monday, June 02, 2014

peace be upon Costco

Without Costco, my dinner would not have been possible:

The pasta—and this may be a bit gross—actually comes from an old bag that had sat for years in Sperwer's basement. Most of my possessions had gotten moldy, but the pasta looked perfectly serviceable, and I knew that boiling it for ten or fifteen minutes would thoroughly sterilize it.

Ingredients for tonight's splurge:

Garofalo brand casarecce pasta (essentially free since it was a found item)

Président brand crème supérieure (whipping cream): W13,990

Bel Gioioso brand crumbled Gorgonzola (bucket): W13,490

Kirkland brand butter (16 4-ounce sticks): W19,990

Kirkland thick-cut bacon (4 1-pound packs): W18,390

There was a W2,700 discount thrown in for some reason, so my total was W63,160, or about $61.88 at the current exchange rate (about 1020 won to the US dollar).

As I've often said, Alfredo sauce (or quasi-Alfredo, in this case) is rather simple to make. The most labor-intensive aspect of tonight's repast was cooking the bacon until crisp, and that was more time-consuming than anything. Otherwise, just cook the pasta, drain it, then throw in equal measures (by volume) of butter, cream, and cheese. Add a bit of powdered garlic and parsley. Add bacon. Stir until a sauce forms; that's the traditional Italian way to arrive at a sauce: generally speaking, you conjure it, i.e., you don't make it on the side and then pour it over the pasta; the pasta is supposed to be in dialogue with the sauce from the sauce's inception,* and the sauce simply appears as you keep on stirring. Like sorcery.

I must say... I like my version of cream pasta a lot better than my school's version. My version is way more rib-sticking and flavorful. I might serve this at the jjong-party I'm planning to have with my lone intermediate class, but knowing Koreans as I do, I know I'll have to serve something salty and pickled alongside it—probably oi-kimchi (cucumber kimchi), in this case, because that's the only kimchi I know how to make well. Koreans feel that creamy and/or greasy food should be balanced out with something that counteracts the oil; this is why "Italian" restaurants in Korea serve pickles with their pasta and pizza.

*Unless we're talking about a sauce like bolognese. That sauce would take too long to come together if it were mixed with pasta from the beginning. The spaghetti would be mush by the time the sauce was ready to serve.



Charles said...

I've had your heart-attack sauce before, and I can vouch for its rib-stickingness. It's more of a fusion of Italian and French, though, isn't it? I've had a number of Italians lament to me that cream is not a traditional ingredient in Italian sauces (although butter and cheese are). And Italians in Korea have a lot to lament about, as you can imagine.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks. I think my sauce has improved since last you tried it, and yeah: you're probably right that I've bent the sauce Franceward. That's certainly true despite my use, this time, of Gorgonzola instead of bleu. As for cream not being an Italian ingredient... a large number of Alfredo recipes have cream as one ingredient, but it's possible that those recipes qualify as more Italian-American than as straight Italian. I honestly wouldn't know.

Kevin Kim said...

From here:

In Italy, “salsa cremosa” refers to any creamy sauce, and it can apply to a great variety of sauces, including those which contain fresh cream, milk, and sometimes cheese.

Alfredo with heavy cream: here and here.

Again, this might be more Italian-American than straight Italian. But such sauces are a dime a dozen on the Internet.