Thursday, March 26, 2009

Citrus Carbonara

Today, I have a dish from a food magazine that is quickly becoming my favorite, and that is La Cucina Italiana. This is from a citrus article in the February issue which was full of great food. There was also an article about espresso, and the prawns in aromatic cream sauce with coffee beans looked divine. And, there was an article about truffles, and one about fritters from Venice, and I do like Italian food. I may end up making almost every recipe from the citrus story like the vegetables and orange sauce and chicken with citrus couscous, but first off I made the citrus carbonara.

This dish was intended to be pasta served with pan roasted rabbit. I’m not opposed to cooking rabbit, and I’m not opposed to eating it for that matter, but I wasn’t able to buy any locally this week. The recipe calls for rabbit loins which can be ordered from D’Artagnan, but I wanted to avoid having something shipped so I called around town. Rabbit loins cannot be found in Austin, but whole rabbit may be had at some stores on the right day. When I asked at Whole Foods, they informed me that I would probably never see rabbit sold in their Austin stores because they have not been able to find a local provider that meets their animal compassion guidelines. To this I say: come on Texas-area rabbit ranchers, raise your animals more compassionately so that I can buy them at Whole Foods. Until then or until I place a D’Artagnan order, I’ll be making a vegetarian version of this dish which is what I’m showing here.

Some zest was grated from a tangerine and a lemon. The remaining peels of the tangerine and lemon were removed. I then cut off any pith that came with the peel and thinly sliced the peel. The pasta water was brought to a boil, and the juices from the tangerine and lemon were added to it. While the pasta cooked, the grated zest, egg yolks, grated parmigiano reggiano, and chopped parsley were whisked together with a little water and salt and pepper. The drained pasta was then tossed with the egg and cheese mixture, and some reserved pasta boiling water was added to thin the sauce. On the plate, it received an olive oil drizzle and a topping of sliced citrus peel. The fresh, light citrus flavor made it easy to ignore the calories lurking in the egg yolks and cheese. This was even quicker and simpler to make without the rabbit, and it was completely delicious.


24 comments:

  1. Lisa, I gave my Cucina issue to my neighbor and she made this on Sunday with chicken instead of the rabbit.
    She RAVED about it! She loved it.
    I was scared off with the 5 yolks, but will take yours and her word for it!

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  2. This sounds awfully good! Love all the citrus flavors!

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  3. citrus zest makes anything extra special! I can see how delicious this must have been!

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  4. In spite of not loving orange, I really like it with pasta - this looks awesome!

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  5. Never heard such a pasta recipe. This one is unique. As I love all kinds of citrus fruits, it's a must for me to try it. I'm really curious about it. The photo here is marvelous!

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  6. WOW! i've never heard of anything like this. it sounds amazing!

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  7. love the mix of the heaviness of all the eggs but the lightness of the citrus-perfect for those of us still waiting for springlike weather to drift our way. super yum.

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  8. This looks beautiful! I love the way citrus adds such a fresh flavor to so many savory and sweet dishes.

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  9. Love the idea behind this. Carbonara is one of my favourite pasta preps, but it can be a little heavy with the egg and cheese. I bet the citrus adds some nice balance.

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  10. So flavorful and refined! A gorgeous dish! Perfect...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. This is so refreshing and not as heavy as the traditional carbonara. Adore your pictures again. Which camera are you using? BTW, congrats of being the Finest Foodies Friday!!! Have a great weekend.

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  12. I luv this vegetarian version of carbonara! So refreshing and healthy!

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  13. Lisa, what a refreshing dish. I alway make Carbonara with bacon and very rich. You dish sounds and looks wonderful. Yummy!

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  14. I can only imagine the refreshingly vibrant flavors from the citrus zest. What an innovative combination that you executed flawlessly Lisa. It looks and sounds perfect. I am waiting for your take on the prawns with cream sauce (and coffee beans) next!

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  15. Wow, I cannot wait to try - we got some citrus and carrots in our CSA box - seems like the stars are aligned that I make it.

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  16. This looks so light and refreshing - it's perfect for spring! Yum.

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  17. What a great way to cut through the richness of this dish. This may show up in my kitchen soon.

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  18. Lisa, this is a superb dish!! So interesting & apart!! Yummie!!!

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  19. what a light, bright, tasty dish! seriously, this is outstanding. the piles of zest are so beautiful.

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  20. This looks wonderful, really great! I used to read that magazine on a regular basis - but have forgotten about it...thanks for the reminder.

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  21. What a good lookin' pic. I bet it would look awesome with a beautifully pan roasted rabbit loin.

    I'm on board with the whole Texas area rabbit rancher thing. Maybe we should start an action party? ..or a rabbit ranch?

    There is a great boutique butcher here that I can get most anything from (or at least have it ordered and available in 48 hrs) but in lieu of that (and knowing absolutely nothing about Austin) there are usually rabbits available from Asian stores in Chinatown, at least there are here.

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  22. I love carbonaro but haven't made (or tasted it) in ages. This is a wonderful recipe and your presentation is fantastic!

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  23. Normally, carbonara is way too heavy for me. I like the idea of citrus to lighten it up!

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