Technique I don't know about you but busy lifestyles and our ever changing schedules sometimes prevents us from having the finer things in life. I'm here to tell you we don't have to give up on good food anymore. Mastering your schedule and a few techniques is all you need to do. You may think you don't have time to cook but this versatile pasta sauce makes it easy to prepare something tasty and fast. If you can master a few culinary techniques one can put together tasty meals in a matter of minutes. What's really nice about this sauce is it's versatility. Change out a few ingredients and you have a new recipe.
Yiddish So what's up with the funky name of the dish? Yes it's a rhetorical question but still needs to be answered. I love the Yiddish language and anytime there's a hint of Jewishness to a dish I have to use a few Yiddish words. My Bubbe spoke Yiddish and it's kind of cool and reminiscent of her memory. Pasta Schmaltz-Ey-Hindi is simply Pasta, Schmaltz = Chicken Fat, Ey = Eggs and Hindi = Chicken. Why not use the Yiddish words Makaronen for Pasta? Well for one thing no one would ever click on the link to this post.
So with that let's begin. Like I said this is not exactly a recipe but a technique that will allow you to make many creative pasta dishes.
What do I do? After the Pasta has reached al dente I remove a couple of cups of the starchy water and set aside. The starchy water will aid in building the egg sauce. We're going to use the pot the pasta was cooked in as our double boiler. Make sure that after you drain your pasta you leave a few inches of the hot water in the pot. The the large metal bowl above the pasta pot contains Eggs etc etc and Pasta. More on this later.
You can use whichever pasta you want but just make sure it's good quality and will be able to hold on to a lot of sauce. I chose Bowtie for this excursion. Who doesn't like leftovers so I made 2 lbs.
For 2 lbs of Pasta I used 4 whole eggs and 10 egg yolks.
The next part is all about personal preference just like the pasta was. You have to decide what you want to add to this egg sauce. I kept mine relatively easy and just used what I had on hand. What kind of annoys me after the fact was I had peas in the freezer and wanted to add them but I forgot.
I chose chicken thighs as my protein. You can't screw up thighs and it's hard to overcook them. I used about 14 of them. Season them anyway you want. I had some Bruschetta Seasoning laying around so I used this as my spice and some others. I knew I would be grilling them off so I added olive oil to the bowl and greased them up. Grill them and cut them into bite size pieces.
I just love sun-dried Tomatoes. Not only are they delicious with pasta but the texture matches up nicely with this dish. Make sure to dice them up small. I think I used about 1.5 cups.
No dish like this would be complete without pine-nuts. Give them a quick toasting in a dry skillet.... I used 1.5 cups.
Adding peas to this dish would have been great!!! Yea I missed the bus on that one. Note: Use any green veggie you want. I like peas, spinach, broccoli rabe and asparagus.
About 3-4 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes.......
I used the zest of two lemons and the juice of one. Any citrus will work.
Piece De Resistance....Schmaltz and Gribenes are the stars of this dish. Rendered chicken fat and the cracklings. The Schmaltz will be used to fry everything up and the Gribenes will be used to enhance the dish. If you don't have any don't worry..... use your favorite fat. These are my two favorite ingredients of all times. My Mom & Bubbe made/used them in many dishes.
Not sure I have to go into a lot of details here but you'll need to fry everything up based on how long you think it will take to cook. Obviously I started out with the Onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. After I started smelling the aroma of the onions I added the garlic. Don't burn the garlic!!! Toss in the sliced tomatoes and saute for a few minutes before adding additional stuff.
Everything in the pool!!!! Add the remaining ingredients and saute for a few minutes and adjust seasoning. I also added green onions. Now add the lemon juice..... to taste... I only used one lemon. Don't add the pine nuts yet.
NOTE on Timing: Before I began frying I had a pot of boiling water going. Look at the cooking time for the pasta and plan accordingly. Right after I put up the pot of water up I got my egg mixture ready too. Last thing you want to do at the end is scramble (pun intended) to get everything in order.
In my original Carbonara dish I used 2 whole eggs to 7 egg yolks to one pound of pasta. Since I am using a 2 lbs of pasta I needed to up everything. I used 4 whole eggs and 10 yolks. it seems like a waste of egg whites but it's not if you set them aside for breakfast. To the egg mixture I added a ton of cheese (pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano cheese is the best). Add a lot pepper and add the zest of two lemons. Using a whisk or big ass fork scramble everything up and set aside.
Note: a really nice cheese to use in addition to the ones listed above would be mascarpone cheese.
This is an important part. I've already covered this part but it's worth mentioning again. Before draining the pasta reserve a few cups of the pasta water. This starchy water will help you build your sauce and temper your eggs.
Turn off the heat source ( I have gas.... thank goodness) to pan with the tomato mixture. Drain the pasta (keep some water in the pot so you can use it as a double boiler) and pour into pan. Mix the pasta thoroughly making sure everything is coated evenly. Add the pine nuts.
This is the part where you start tempering the eggs and building the sauce. Add all the pasta (the picture only shows a little bit of the pasta in the bowl) to the egg mixture and toss and fold coating the pasta thoroughly with the eggs. Add some italian parsley. Mix thoroughly and add little pasta water.
Place the bowl on top of the simmering pasta pot. Start mixing until a creamy sauce is created. Add more pasta water if needed, add more cheese.....and of course lots of pepper. You'll know when it's done. I like a very creamy sauce sauce so I use a lot of pasta water and extra cheese. The whole goal here is to heat the eggs up without scrambling them. All done!!!
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