Monday, September 6, 2010

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Adapted from the December 2007 issue of GQ magazine

The amounts below make two servings, as long as there's a salad or some kind of side to fill out the meal. Amounts may be doubled.

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
6-8 ounces pancetta or thick-cut or slab bacon
1/2 box spaghetti
2 large eggs
1/2- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
KOD garnish fave: Handful chopped fresh parsley and/or zest of 1/2 lemon

Bring at least two quarts of water to a boil and add at least one teaspoon salt to the pot. Add spaghetti.

While spaghetti is cooking, chop pancetta or bacon into quarter-inch matchsticks and heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and fry until crisp. Turn down heat to low until you're ready to assemble the dish.

Break eggs into a mixing bowl. Add a small handful of grated cheese and a pinch of pepper. Beat mixture together, only enough to combine.

When spaghetti is al dente (about 10-12 minutes), drain it and add to egg mixture in bowl. Reserve some of the pasta water just in case. Add another small handful of cheese and using two forks or a pair or tongs, toss the mixture until spaghetti is well coated.

Drain at least half the fat from the pancetta or bacon, and sprinkle the crisped bits into the pasta, plus remaining fat. Sprinkle with more cheese and black pepper. Do not stir immediately; allow contents of bowl to sit for about 30 seconds, then toss to combine. If mixture seems to dry, gradually add a few ounces of pasta water to make it creamier.

Taste for salt, pepper and cheese, and season accordingly. Add garnish, if using. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

oh no!

I  had come so far. Was this the end? There were six of them, altogether they weren't terrible odds but I had already used up so much of my energy trying to escape, and I was exhausted to the bone. But still I had no choice, it was fight or die.
It was dark with only the moon as light, tipping the odds in my favor. My back was to the cliff, I couldn't see how far down it was but I knew was there was nothing on the other side but water, a vast ocean of water.
They started closing in, forming a semi circle around me knowing they had me trapped. Rachis, second in skill only to the Three Wings themselves. They weren't like the countless other fodder I had slain escaping but that didn't matter. I was Amedeus, The Obsidian Blade.
I darted forward, so fast it didn't even have time to register in his mind. I tried to imagine what it would be like for him, me standing there one second then dissapearing into the night only to find  I was already ontop of you. My blade parted his head from the rest of his body like it was cutting through the air. Then I dispatched the next, then the next. Now there were only four. My breath was beginning to come to me in rasps but I couldn't stop now. I focused the Rei into my legs then into the balls of my feet pin pointing the exact locations I would need to gain my speed. My superhuman speed, I didn't even have think about it anymore like it was the most natural thing in the world. I felt the wind surge past my face as I was propelled forward. I drew my black nightmare of a blade, sharper than any metal could possibly be. It was my instrument, my own personal orchestra and I was the composer. Only it wasn't music I was creating, it was death, a symphony of death.
The last one fell and I gave my sword a quick swipe though the air drawing the blood off it and returned it to it's black sheath in one quick disciplined motion. Black. It was the story of my life, My hair, clothes, sword, heart. They were all Black. I then realized how exhausted I truly was. My legs gave way and I fell to my knees breathing heavily. What would Rayto have done now?
 I thought of my master then. Would I ever see him again? I knew the truth that even if by some miracle I made it out of this alive I would never return. The sound of rustling leaves and boots in the distance told me I wasn't out of danger yet. They were coming, but there was nowhere for me to go. Nowhere except over the cliff but that would certainly mean death. I knew this time I wouldn't get so lucky they would have Psych users who I couldn't defeat with my blade alone. They would immolate my brain from the inside or give me the illusion my limbs were being torn apart or some other countless form of torture. Either way they would cripple me so that the Corp users could finish the job with there blades, butchers work.  I begun to feel my last strands of hope blown away in the wind. I could see their torches now, they were getting closer.
I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomache. Was this fear? It never occured to me before that I had never felt it. Perhaps I was just brought up spoiled. From an early age Rayto had trained me to be a killer. I had never thought anyone could defeat me, but now that seemed rather childish. I laughed to myself, it was ridiculous really, here I was about to die and all I could think about is silly emotions.
They began to breach the tree line stepping out into the small clearing. I was to exhausted to do anything but cock my head in that direction. Twelve of them. It looked like atleast two of them were Psych users. I was a dead man. What I guessed was the ranking officer stepped forward and spoke "General Amedeus you have been tried and found guilty of desertion." He declared. "Punishment for your crimes is death."
General. I'm barely twenty one years old and yet I'm a General in the largest military force on the face of the earth. Well, atleast I was. My eyes were open now, I had seen first hand what The Regime was capable of. Evil. Right down to its corrupted leader Gideon. Rayto had taught me what justice really meant and The Regime was none of that. But still he follows Gideons orders to the letter not caring what manner of evil deeds he's ordered to do. Still though, I wish he was here I wish his eyes had also been opened like mine were now. If I had a chance maybe I could have convinced him.
Then I realized how foolish I was being. Again, on the brink of death and all I can do is think about things that have already been done. It took everything I had to force my body to stand, every muscle in my body moaned in protest. I didn't say anything back to him, just lowered myself into a stance with my hand on the hilt of my sword. If I was going to die it would be on my feet fighting. They seemed to get the message, drawing there weapons themselves they prepared for attack. In my condition I could handle five, maybe more if they were all Corp users but that was exactly the problem. The psych users could attack me where I was most vulnerable, my mind.
As if on queue I felt a massive weight inside my head. I screamed in agony and fell to my knees yet again. It was like my head was being crushed from the inside. I had only fought a Psych user a few times in my life but it was never like this. I was completely helpless. I had never felt anything so painfull in all my life, but still it was just an illusion. Psych users can only project illusions in your mind, not actually attack it. But that meant nothing right now because in my mind it was as real as reality could possibly become.
It was then it happened, as if my body was acting on it's own. I bolted for the cliff knowing that even the most talented Psych users couldn't project on someone if he jumped off. I could hear the soldiers running behind me trying to catch up but they were far to slow. As I got closer to the edge I could smell the salt in the air and hear the waves crashing against the rocks below. Then the fear hit me again for the second time in one night, but that didn't matter for in my mind the only thing that mattered was survival. Not that I thought I could possibly survive this but it was the only option I had.
So I jumped.