Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

Last night we were in a craving for Italian cuisine and we had a new recipe that we had never made before “Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara” from America’s Test Kitchen. I don’t know where I came to think this way, but I always use to equate carbonara with a cream based pasta. When you read this recipe you can see that is made from just a couple of ingredients and is fairly easy to make. I sure don’t know where I ever came to think this way, but boy am I glad I have unlearned that “alternative fact”.

The recipe is very straight forward and easy to prepare. The results were superb with a pasta coated with a sauce of Pecorino Romano, bacon, bacon fat and garlic. It is so yummy.

Make this for dinner and you will not be disappointed. If you would like a copy of the recipe you can get it from our recipe database at Searching4Zen.com.

Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

The first step is to cook the bacon in water until the water is completely cooked off.

Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

Then you continue to cook the bacon in it’s fat until it is golden brown.

Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

it is critical to properly mix the sauce so that all of the pasta is coated evenly but throughly.

Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

Plated and ready to serve, the Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara is an awesome recipe.

Ristorante Consorzio

After a day of driving we were looking forward to a creative and unique dinner and that is what we received at Ristorante Consorzio. The food was very good and the service nice.

Ristorante Consorzio

The amuse bouche which came with some excellent bread.

Ristorante Consorzio

Soma d’aj, a very attractive antipasti.

Ristorante Consorzio

La Cruda, a local rendition of steak tartar. It was excellent.

Ristorante Consorzio

Risotto Bergese, an outstanding risotto.

Ristorante Consorzio

Faraona tonchese croccante, a excellent cooked chicken recipe.

Ristorante Consorzio

Caramelized bricoche bread, zabaione and raisins ice cream. Very yummy.

Ristorante Consorzio

Menù Desgustazione

Ristorante Consorzio

Ala cart menu

Ristorante Consorzio

The dessert menu for the day.

Ristorante Consorzio

La msòíra e’l rastel “Green Palma” 2014 a very nice Barbera d’Alba.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Based on a recommendation from the owner of the restaurant La Quercia di Rosa we searched out this local cooperativa that produces some of the best DOP Parmigiano-Reggiano. It was a cold and dreary morning as we walked into the store front at 8:45a when the first tour starts.

We had read that the production of the Parmigiano-Reggiano starts at 8:30 so if you want to follow the production of that mornings cheese you need to get there early. Being it was off season we were the only people on the tour that morning, which allowed us to ask lots of questions about how and why they produce the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The staff at latter Sociale Cooperativa were super friendly and helpful, including the workers in the factory who I am sure we got into the way of. The tour is without cost but clearly we left with a large stash of Parmigiano-Reggiano that we are still enjoying now that we are back home!

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

The tables where the milk is received twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Parmigiano-Reggiano is only produced in the mornings.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Once the steam is turned on for more than three of the vats it becomes so foggy I could not keep my lens from foggying up.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

The whey and the milk solids are starting to separate.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Ready to cut the curds.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Cutting the curds into small rice sized pieces.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Perfectly sized curds.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

The mild solid is ready to be pulled together.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano from the milk solids.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

One ball of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano before it is placed in the empty form.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano before it is placed in the empty form.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano before it is placed in the empty form.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano before it is placed in the empty form.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Forming the Parmigiano-Reggiano before it is placed in the empty form.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Each ball of Parmigiano-Reggiano is cut into two and individually placed into the empty form. I have no idea what the weight of each ball was.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

The rounds are then stored for several days in a salt brine which helps removed some of the excess liquids and gives the Parmigiano-Reggiano its great taste.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

The rounds are then stored for several days in a salt brine which helps removed some of the excess liquids and gives the Parmigiano-Reggiano its great taste.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

After each rounds is formed it is given a bar code identifying the producer, the date of production and other information as required by the DOP requirements.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Removing the remaining solids that will be used to create ricotta cheese.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

I have never seen so much Parmigiano-Reggiano in one location in my life.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

This round of Parmigiano-Reggiano was produced on January 16, 2017 and was already in the inventory holding area.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Our guide showing us how they test to ensure the cheese is without significant air pockets.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

One of the few automated processes, this machine rinses the rind of the cheese and rotates the round before putting it back in place.

Map of Parmigiano-Reggiano

The map of the official Parmigiano-Reggiano area.

Latteria Sociale Cooperativa

Eataly Turino – The Original Eataly!

Turino is recognized as the home of the slow food movement and is the home of the original Eataly retail store. There was no way that we were going to be staying in Turino that evening and would miss the opportunity to visit the original Eataly.

Now we have been to Eataly in Chicago and have been more than a little disappointed with the selection of food products (mainly the lack of freshness) and the overly consumerism we felt when we would visit it.

Well this store has a completely different vibe and is definitely worth stopping in to visit. We had lunch at one of the “food stand” restaurants and it was absolutely fabulous. Then seeing all of the fresh food and the prepared foods such as the Focaccia, I was ready to have a second lunch!

Worth the visit and leave yourself at least an hour for the visit.

Eataly Turino

The logo outside the original Eataly in Turino. An amazing grocery store and restaurant facility.

Eataly Turino

The fresh vegitables were amazing.

Eataly Turino

As was the fresh fish which all looked so great.

Eataly Turino

Le Verdure, the restaurant we ate at in Eataly.

Eataly Turino

Menu for Il Ristorantino delle Verdure where we ate lunch at in Eataly.

Eataly Turino

Panzerotti Ripieni di Ricotta, Spinaci e Crema di Parmigiano

Eataly Turino

Insalata Invernale

Eataly Turino

The Focaccia retail stand.

Eataly Turino

The bread oven that they use to produce the Focaccia each day.

Eataly Turino

Focaccia of every type you could desire.

Eataly Turino

The staff of life.

Eataly Turino

Rows and rows of fresh and dried pasta.

Eataly Turino

More fresh pasta available in multiple shapes and sizes.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

We have been buying aceto balsamico from Guiseppe Giusti for many years but this is the first time we actually got to stop in to see how the balsamico is actually produced and to learn more about the history of this firm.

The tour was first rate and we got to taste many different versions of the aceto balsamico from the top of the line 25 year aged produce to the younger versions that are not sold as the traditional aceto balsamico.

Definitely worth a stop to explore.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

When one cask starts leaking they do not remove it, instead they build a new cask around the old one. They do not want to lose all flavor that has built up over the many years of production.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

Various casks for the production of aceto balsamico. They are never retired, they just keep getting enhanced with more flavor.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

Tools of the Master

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

Various metals awarded for the aceto balsamico from Guiseppe Giusti.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

One of the original casks which dates back to the 1700s.

Giuseppe Giusti aceto balsamico

A mixture of the products offered by Giuseppe Giusti.

la quercia di rosa ristorante

For the evening we stayed in Modena we ate at an absolutely wonderful ristorante. It is a small restaurant outside of Centro called La Quercia di Rosa. We happened to be dining on a day that they were specializing in the local white truffle and many of the typical meals were on the truffle menu of the day. It was great that we selected two main plates from this menu.

The owner of the restaurant, Rose, we extremely helpful and suggested a local wine for dinner but also a local producer of parmesan cheese as we were planning to visit some cheese producers the next day. I highly recommend La Quercia di Rosa for dinner.

La Quercia di Rosa

White Truffle Special Menu of the Day

La Quercia di Rosa

Smoked Salmon starter

La Quercia di Rosa

Fried Bread, Which I was told I need to use to eat my antipasto.

La Quercia di Rosa

My starter of an antipasto

La Quercia di Rosa

My starter of an antipasto

La Quercia di Rosa

Tortellini alla Panna with White Truffles

La Quercia di Rosa

Tagliolini al tartufo, awesome.

La Quercia di Rosa

Pio Cesare, a Great Local Wine Selected by Rosa

Mercato Albinelli

During our stay in Modena Italy, we stopped into Mercato Albinelli to do some culinary shopping. We had spent the morning visiting some balsamic producers. When we arrived at the Mercato Albinelli were blown away with the architecture, the quality of the products and just about everything else about the Meercato Albinelli. My only regret is that we did not get there in the morning and came in as the venders were starting to close up shop. Morale of this store is to visit the mercato early in the day and leave yourself at least two hours.

Mercato Albinelli

The entrance to the Mercato Albinelli

Mercato Albinelli

Inside the beautiful Mercato.

Mercato Albinelli

One image of the many wonderful vendors at the Mercato.

Mercato Albinelli

Beautiful topinambour