Monday, August 09, 2004

Fettucine Bosciaola

Back in the 80s, creamy sauces reigned supreme! I had a friend named Mark who dared to open his own cafe, The Workshop, in Darlinghurst, which featured numerous dishes swimming in creamy sauces. It was in this cafe that I first tasted fettucine bosciaola. What a taste sensation! Having been raised on spaghetti bolognese, I never knew pasta could taste so good.

The Workshop Cafe became a regular hangout for me and my dance party-loving cronies. We congregated there several nights a week, whether it was to dine or simply to grab a coffee and listen to the latest house music release. We were still buying records then - and by that I mean twelve inch wide pieces of shiny black vinyl with little grooves going round and round in concentric circles. We'd snap up the latest dance floor hit down at Central Station Records, dub it onto cassette at home, then arrive at The Workshop, commandeer the tape deck and pump up the volume regardless of whether there were regular customers in the place or not.

Mark struggled to keep The Workshop Cafe afloat. Apparently it's not easy running a restaurant. The pressure of the day to day desperation to break even, combined with the back breaking hard work took its toll on Mark. When he found out he was HIV positive, it all became too much and he decided to bow out of life all together. Our little community was stunned. Mark's departure shattered what we might have called our innocence. Life sure wasn't the same after that.

But Mark's legacy to my culinary development is plain: creamy bosciaola sauce. It's making a comeback, thanks to Carnation Light and Creamy milk. Here's Mark's recipe, albeit fat reduced. I'm sure he'd be delighted that I've chosen to share it. In a way, his bosciaola has guaranteed his immortality. Can't ask for more than that!

4 rashers shortcut bacon (ie rind removed, fat trimmed)
2 cloves garlic
olive oil spray
1 dessert spoon cornflour
125ml Carnation Light & Creamy Milk
100ml fresh cream
12 button mushrooms
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
3/4 Packet Fettucine
1/4 cup white wine
Parmesan cheese to garnish

1. Place fetuccine in boiling water. Cooking on high simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. To prepare the sauce, slice the bacon into strips about 4mm wide. Spray frying pan with olive oil spray then add bacon, cooking on a medium high heat. Do not allow bacon to become crispy!

3. Add crushed garlic and stir until garlic is browned. Add cornflour and stir to coat bacon.

4. Add Carnation Milk and stir until cornflour has dissolved.

5. Thinly slice mushrooms and add to pan, stirring to combine. Add fresh cream and white wine, stirring again. Reduce heat to low simmer and leave to cook for about five minutes. Mushrooms will become tender and will reduce in bulk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Tip cooked pasta into a colander and shake to drain excess water. (Do not rinse! The glutinous starch on the pasta helps the sauce to stick to it.) Place back in saucepan.

7. Pour sauce over pasta and stir until pasta is completely coated.

8. Serve in warmed plates. Garnish with extra freshly ground pepper, grated Parmesan and a sprig of parsley. Serves 3 people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just tried this recipe and it was delicious! (I've always wanted to make a white pasta sauce this good) It's as nice as at an Italian restaurant! Thanks so much for posting it up :) - K