Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Joy of Cooking prepared foods

I was at the supermarket yesterday and what was my surprise when I saw the familiar Joy of Cooking red and white logo on bags of prepared foods. They are in fact now selling prepared frozen foods. As you can imagine, they have some Italian specialties. I noticed a shrimp and asparagus pasta, a ham and bacon carbonara, and ciabatta rolls. I decided to check out the carbonara and was disappointed. A tell-tale sign is that the back of the package informs us that carbonara is based on a bechamel or white sauce. Not so. The Italians do indeed use bechamel sauce (which they call "besciamella,") but a classic carbonara is based on eggs and pancetta (pahn-CHET-tah). In the absence of the latter, you may substitute lean bacon.

In effect, this frozen dish (which is not cheap, either) is more of a ham and peas pasta.The poor Italian classic is mistreated all over the world (in the US, they often add chicken), and yet it is one of the easiest, tastiest, and cheapest dishes. To rectify this deplorable situation, I will post a real carbonara recipe. When? Soon.