The final (gluten-free) meal
I was once asked, “If you were being executed at dawn, what would you request for your last meal?” The first thing that popped into my head was gluten-free spaghetti a la carbonara. (And yes, my last meal would be gluten free – gluten is not my friend, why would I spend my last night on earth with something that is not my friend?)
This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It only takes about 15 minutes and five ingredients (and I do mean five – not five plus salt, pepper and oil). It’s seriously simple.
So then I thought that if someone was executing me at dawn, why should I make it simple for them to prepare my last meal? Shouldn’t it be something expensive, time consuming and difficult?
Okay, so I haven’t yet resolved the issue of what my last meal would be – hopefully I have time for that. To be honest I would probably just request an enormous bottle of tequila because I’m not sure I’d want to face a firing squad stone-cold sober.
But back to the recipe.
I tweaked this classic dish to make it easier and quicker. Whenever you want to cook pasta fast, use a wide, somewhat shallow pan with a lid instead of a deep pan. The larger the surface area, the faster the water will boil. Use just enough water to cover the pasta. I use organic brown rice spaghetti because it is the perfect backdrop for the sauce.
Another thing I like to use is thick slices of pepper bacon. Carbonara sauce begs for pepper and this way the pepper flavor of
4 slices thick-cut pepper bacon, cut to ¼ inch slices
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Boil water. Add spaghetti and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. While the water is boiling, cook bacon pieces in large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Do not drain bacon fat. Keep warm.
Whisk egg yolks with cream and ¼ cup cheese. When pasta is done, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of hot pasta water to egg mixture and whisk. This will “temper” the mixture and keep eggs from scrambling when finishing sauce.
Drain the spaghetti and add to skillet with the bacon. Stir spaghetti so it absorbs bacon flavor. With the skillet off the heat, pour egg mixture into skillet and stir quickly. Serve immediately with remaining parmesan on the side.
This recipe is for two people but I could easily polish off this whole batch right out of the skillet, maybe even still standing over the stove. Because
I haven’t yet ruled out this recipe as a final meal request – I’m still thinking it through.
But let me ask you, if you knew it was your last meal on earth, what would you request?