I got my car (brand new) in April 2006, it now has 25 750 kms.

I started my blog here in April 2010, it now has 31 263 hits …

Not sure what that means, but perhaps some guru could find a hint on what numbers would prove lucky on the Lotto this weekend?

On the subject of luck, I’ve entered two dishes into the Pick n Pay ‘Eat Pray Love’ Cook Off.  Pick n Pay is one of the largest local retail outfits and the prize is four items from Le Creuset, which I want with all my heart.

My first entry, Mie Goreng, can be seen here:

For my second entry, I made Spaghetti Carbonara; I adhered strictly to the Pick n Pay recipe and was very pleased with the result: creamy, eggy, rich and luscious.


Main Ingredients

1 packet no name spaghetti //
6 baby marrows, cut into thin strips
1 dash PnP olive oil // , for frying
1 packet PnP back bacon // , cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic, or 3, finely chopped
4 large PnP free range eggs // , beaten
125 ml pecorino cheese, finely grated
1 pinch salt and milled pepper

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Add baby marrows 2 – 3 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry bacon until crispy.
  • Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Drain excess fat from pan and fry garlic for a minute.
  • Add pasta, baby marrows and bacon to pan and toss well.
  • Remove pan from heat. Quickly stir through the eggs, mixing until they begin to thicken, but not scramble.
  • Add cheese, season and serve.
  • ** Pecorino is a hard rind cheese similar to parmesan, originally made from sheep’s milk.

Some background on the dish, from Wikipedia:

Like most recipes, the origins of the dish are obscure, and there are many legends about it. As the name is derived from carbone (the Italian word for coal), some believe that the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. This theory gave rise to the term “coal miner’s spaghetti”, which is used to refer to spaghetti alla carbonara in parts of the United States. Another rumor about the origin of the name suggests that the way abundant black pepper was added to the dish (before or after serving) especially during winter, made the black pepper flakes among the whitish sauce look like charcoal, or perhaps the effect one gets when a casserole dish is accidentally “burnt”.  It has even been suggested that it was created by, or as a tribute to, the Carbonari (“charcoalmen”), a secret society prominent in the unification of Italy.

The dish is not present in Ada Boni’s 1927 classic La Cucina Romana, and is unrecorded before the Second World War. It was first recorded after the war as a Roman dish, when many Italians were eating eggs and bacon supplied by troops from the United States, and the name may be from a Rome restaurant called ‘Carbonara’.

More recently, a restaurant in Rimini has claimed the original recipe was born during WWII.

The recipe was included in Elizabeth David’s 1954 cookbook published in Great Britain. The dish became popular among American troops stationed in Italy; upon their return home, they popularized spaghetti alla carbonara in North America.

See here how to make it:


33 Comments Add yours

  1. thysleroux says:

    You truly have a flair for “writing about food”. I’m terrible in the kitchen but even so I love the passionate way in which you describe these delicacies …

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Thys 🙂

  2. gospelwriter says:

    It looks absolutely delicious – I do hope you win, I’m rooting for you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It really was delish!

  3. Lyndatjie says:

    So THAT is why I wasn’t allowed to eat the Veggie Carbonara my friend made on Monday night without her taking a thousand different photos before hand.
    I have to tell you though – she had loads of Pick ‘n Pay stuff dotted around her photographs for effect. One I remember in particular was the table mats she made from a Pick ‘n Pay photograph that she laminated. She is extremely competitive and takes her competitions very seriously.
    (PS: I didnt’ have the heart to tell her though that even though it looked incredibly tasty – it seriously didn’t taste like that at all… *shudder*)
    I’m rooting for you! WIN!!!!
    *thinking loads of positive thoughts here right now*

    1. theonlycin says:

      I don’t see her pic up yet, but thanks for the product placement and branding tips; I will bear them in mind next time.
      Thanks so much for the positive thoughts, I really want to win this very badly 🙂

  4. Rosemary says:

    I am making this today – best of luck to win. Yours looks very good, can’t wait to try making mine. I’ve not had great success with this before – more like scrambled egg and pasta.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think the trick is to just coat the egg around the other warm ingredients and then immediately take it off the heat. My eggs didn’t scrample. Good luck Rosemary; please don’t beat me in the comp 🙂

  5. nrhatch says:

    How does the Cook Off work? Do you need fans to vote for your dishes?

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a Facebook competition and the Food Editor of the Pick n Pay mag has the final say, but I am sure comment and ‘liking’ won’t hurt …!/album.php?aid=518580&id=203502530286

      (I think you have to ‘Like’ the PnP page first, then click on the photo on the album … )

  6. Tandy says:

    good luck! BTW, you do such low mileage – my car is not even 4 years old and has done 90 000 km 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Tandy, every place I go is within a radius so small that I can’t smoke a cigarette in the time it takes to get there …
      Thanks for the luck 🙂

  7. Leigh says:

    The car-bonari has mileage, indeed 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      lololololol … you brainy, funny thing!

  8. justchef says:

    Looks so good – gotto love the Italians for making it acceptable to have bacon and eggs for dinner 😀

    *holds thumbs that Cindy wins*

  9. theonlycin says:

    Thanks my friend 😀

  10. Supa says:

    It looks supa! great photo.

  11. Adeeyoyo says:

    Good luck Cindy! Btw, those were very good tips from Lynda.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks adee, they were good tips. I seldom shoot the tablescape though, and tend to go in close on the food itself. But I will bear the tips in mind. One contestant has posed with her dish wearing an @Home apron :O

  12. Yvette says:

    All the’s a winner!…A lighter version for sure,there’s usually a whole lot of cream thrown in also!

    1. theonlycin says:

      According to the Italians, one should never add cream or parmesan cheese to carbonara. Only add eggs and pecorino cheese?

  13. buttercup600 says:

    That really looks delicious Cindy, I hope you win too…will go look and vote for you 🙂 Hugs xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, you truly are a lovely friend 🙂

  14. slpmartin says:

    I might try that recipe sometime..of course had to lookup ‘marrow’ not something referred to in the States very often in the markets. Good luck!

  15. Tokeloshe says:

    Ah! Comfort food.

    Good luck 😉

    Excellent post and great photo!

  16. Madmom says:

    Congrats on the win, Cindy.
    Now onward to the Le Creuset.

  17. Artswebshow says:

    Wow, thanks for linking me up Cindy.
    I didn’y know the history of the dish until now. lol

  18. Melvin says:

    I hope you in no way stop! This is certainly one of the best blogs I have ever read through. You have got mad talent here, man. I simply wish that you simply do not lose your style mainly because you are certainly one of the best blog owners around. You need to continue simply because the internet wants someone like you spreading the word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s