A typical Saturday morning is waking up and spending the next three-or-four hours split between writing, exercising and looking at every recipe book I own trying to work out what to cook for the rest of the weekend, usually finding everything and nothing and cooking a fish finger sandwich for lunch and buying a pizza for dinner, then repeating the process on Sunday morning.
Sometimes, through the indecision, I do find recipes to cook. And this is one of them. It’s from Jamie’s Italy. Carbonara plus sausages. Many dishes can be improved with the addition of a sausage and I figured carbonara was one of them.
Rich and salty, comforting, simple and delicious; I love carbonara. I needed a beer to cut the richness, to handle the smoked pancetta and to balance the herby banger. Avery Brown Dredge was in my head as it recently passed a year since the beer was brewed. I’ve still got a few bottles left so I grabbed one. Bright orange-gold, big frothy white foam, it’s just as good as it’s ever been, maybe even better – orangey, sweet aroma followed by a Saaz spiciness, with a dry and peppery bitterness. The sweetness balances the richness and the smoke and the whole thing wraps together in a perfect little package. If you haven’t got ABD then try something like Victory Prima Pils or Dogfish Head My Antonia.
With sausages and spaghetti left over, on Sunday I made one of my favourite dishes: fry little balls of sausage, add garlic and chilli, a carton of chopped tomatoes, seasoning, fresh basil and mix with spaghetti. Easy. But I’ve never found a FABPOW for this one. I’ve gone down the dark lager road but I need something bigger, so perhaps it’s time for Schlenkerla...
Two FABPOWs in a week! I call that a successful weekend staring at recipe books.
A note on the sausage carbonara recipe: cooking for one hungry person, I halved the recipe given for four and it was the right amount for me. Four sausages between four people is a bit stingy, I think.