Thank you all for the very nice birthday wishes last week!
I got emails, tweets, comments, presents, and a ton of unsolicited penis pictures. You all know how to make a gal feel wanted. And thanks for the PayPal donations too. Hopefully 35 will be a much better year; I might as well run for president, because “President Dannis Ree” has such a stupid ring to it, and with my bad luck, I’ll actually get elected. At least I don’t pull the toppings off my pizza like some dickhole candidate we all know.
A question I often get is, “Dannis, how do I become a highly successful food blogger like you?” This is very easy.
First, you need to write at no better than a second grade level. Write extremely short sentences, get your facts wrong 99% of the time, and make up outlandish stories about your life. For example: I have a 10-foot penis. It acts like a prehensile appendage that I can use like an elephant trunk. As you can see, this makes me interesting, even though I am lying about the size and abnormal abilities of my genitals.
Second, be quirky and whimsical in your voice. My sense of whimsy stems from the fact that I make fun of your mother all the time. People somehow find that endearing, even though I talk about her general crotch region obsessively. If you have children, it is very important to mention them constantly. Passively-aggressively talk about how much better they are than all the other children in the world, even though you know deep within your heart that they will grow up to be barely functioning adults.
And lastly, write recipes that have already been written 10,000 times over, and talk about how the recipe has to do with your heritage, even if it has nothing to do with you. If you want to go even farther, do something drastic like change your name, like Guy Fieri did in 1995 — he changed it from Ferry to Fieri, according to my newest favorite website. This advanced maneuver gave him some additional street cred in the food world, and as you’ve all seen, he is rapidly devolving into a frizzle-haired middle-aged television troll monster who likes to drive convertibles.
So I asked myself, “Dannis Ree, now that you are passing this torch of knowledge onto a legion of people who will go onto have successful food blogs, which recipe will you show them as an example path to get to success?”
The answer is easy: Spaghettios alla carbonara.
If you do not have a recipe for spaghetti alla carbonara on your food blog, none of the other food bloggers will ever take you seriously.
Spaghetti alla carbonara is a very simple dish, which includes spaghetti noodles, crushed dreams, and glue sticks, that hails from Italy, the smallest province in the far reaches of Kazakhstan. My Italian grandmother told me that. What’s strange is that I am not Italian. If you look far back into your family’s history, you will find that you too have an Italian grandmother. Every food blogger claims to have an Italian grandmother, so you need to work this into your own mythological origin story.
Real carbonara is very simple: It contains some form of pasta, eggs, cheese, a pork product like bacon or pancetta, and a lot of black pepper.
Eggs, one of the main ingredients of carbonara, are one of my favorite foods.
People often ask the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
The answer is: Your mother.
In order to be whimsical, rather than use regular dried pasta, I opted to use a pre-digested version, which is Spaghettios.
This will make it much easier for your made-up Italian grandmother to gum down. The real selling point to Spaghettios is that they do not need to be chewed in order to be eaten.
Drain the Spaghettios of their precious sauce, since the egg mixture you are making will replace it.
If you do a search on Google for “carbonara recipes,” you will find that there are at least a billion of them. If you have a carbonara recipe on your blog, you will join the masses and immediately find success. If you would like readers to be intrigued with your version, title the post, “Spaghetti alla Carbonara…With a Twist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Reserve this sauce for later.
Because the pasta has been sitting in it since the cretaceous period, it is full of valuable starches which you can use to thicken up the final product later.
Next, ruin a perfectly good clean bowl by forgetting to realize that you should have just put the noodles directly into a pot.
Seriously, there was no reason for me to put them in this bowl. I guess one of my adorable quirks is that I am a terrible chef and that I make bad decisions in the kitchen.
Correct your past mistake by putting the noodles in a small saucepan, and heat on low.
Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes sometimes. It’s part of life. Did I tell you guys about my 10-foot penis?
As the Spaghettios are warming up in the pan, whisk together two whole eggs, two egg yolks, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, a bunch of freshly ground black pepper, and salt.
Now, if you’re paying careful attention, you’ll see I’m using a blend of pre-shredded cheese. If you’re actually going to cook any version of carbonara, avoid the pre-shredded stuff. This pre-shredded stuff contains cellulose (to prevent the shreds from sticking together unattractively), and results in a grainy melted texture later. However, since I am making something fucking disgusting it doesn’t matter.
Either put this aside, or slather it all over your body and run around in the street.
I prefer the latter. Your mother always chases after me, tackles me like a linebacker in heat, and licks it all off. Then we immediately go to the hospital to treat her for salmonella poisoning.
Chop up your bacon or pancetta, ideally into little cubes and not shreds, like my miserable pile.
Bacon is good if you like its smoky flavor in your pasta. Pancetta is just bacon without the smoke. What’s interesting to me is that anything labeled “pancetta” at the grocery store usually costs double the amount of regular bacon because it has a fancy foreign-sounding name. This is horseshit.
However, if you use pancetta, other food bloggers will believe you know a lot about Italian food, and they will hail you as an expert. Sometimes, maintaining your reputation is worth the added expense.
Fry the pork on medium heat, until it is cooked and barely starting to turn brown.
For some reason you are not supposed to have crunchy bacon in carbonara. If you are putting it in Spaghettios it does not matter very much. If you are doing anything to Spaghettios, nothing in life matters.
Your cooked cured pork product probably shouldn’t look like soggy fish food.
Whatever. Embrace it. Use your blogger’s voice to become the next unstoppable force in food media. Remember, you’ll be discovered someday. You’ll become the next Anthony Bourdain.
This is normally the part where you’d start cooking your dry pasta noodles.
However, since you’re using canned pasta like a jackass, you can totally skip that step. In fact, there was no reason you needed to keep the Spaghettios warm in another pan when you could have just done it in the skillet with the pork. I am a horrible recipe developer.
Heat the pasta and pork mixture until it is bubbling.
Prepare yourselves. This is where you need to work a little quickly.
Transfer your porked Spaghettios into a large bowl and pour the egg and cheese mixture into it, stirring gently.
What you don’t want to happen is for your eggs to curdle and scramble, so keep stirring the mixture until everything is incorporated. The egg and cheese mixture is supposed to stay silky and serve as the sauce.
If, for whatever reason, your sauce seems dry (it shouldn’t, you’re using stupid Spaghettios and shouldn’t even be cooking this anyway), you can use the reserved Spaghettio sauce to thin it out a little while still keeping the resulting sauce silky.
Normally you would use leftover pasta water for the same purpose, but you’re really not here for actual cooking instructions. You’re here to watch a frequently vulgar overgrown child in his mid-30’s play with stuffed animals and food.
Plating Spaghettios alla carbonara is very important.
If you go to a fancy Italian restaurant, they’ll only give you an extremely tiny portion on a giant plate. Then they will charge you close to $20 for it. You’re supposed to eat it very slowly, then say, “Wow, this really feels European. Even the portion sizes are like European sizes. This is a very authentic restaurant.”
Later, on your way home, you will go to Taco Bell and order $5 of food because you are very hungry, and this amount of money will buy you enough food for two weeks.
For an added touch of flair, you can sprinkle a little bit of fresh chopped parsley on top.
Traditionally, carbonara is plated very simply, so you can talk about how rustic your dinner was to your coworkers the next morning at the office. If you add any garnishes, you run the risk of flying too close to the sun, and having people call you a hipster. But I think the added color is cute. So if you add parsley, this is technically now Spaghettios alla Carbonara…With a Twist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, if you are really interested in becoming a successful food blogger, you’re supposed to talk about how curly parsley like in the picture above is a complete abomination, even though it mostly tastes the same as the flat kind. If you chop it small enough, even a seasoned food critic won’t know the difference. However, if the pieces are too big, the texture will be like chewing on your mother’s grizzled pubic hair.
Just sprinkle a very tiny amount on the plate, making the puny pile on your dish look a little bigger.
Do not make Spaghettios alla Carbonara. It tastes a lot like vomit. Spaghettio tomato sauce has a weird tinny sweetness to it with a touch of acidity, and mixed with barely cooked egg yolks, it turns into an obscene sauce with the texture of mucus. The pasta is already nearly porridge, so it just slides down your throat in the same way vomit slides up your throat, and the chewy bits of pork product are like those little bits of unchewed food that stay in your mouth afterwards. What I’m saying is, I basically recreated culinary puke.
Real success sometimes feels lonely. Someday when you guys all make it as influential food bloggers, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’ll be on the top of a mountain, staring at all the people you trampled on to get to the top, and then you’ll realize that you’re actually not famous at all.
You’re just a blogger.
Life is hell.
Spaghettios alla Carbonara
- 2 14-oz cans Spaghettios
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1.5 oz freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1.5 oz freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 oz bacon or pancetta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional, curly parsley, chopped to oblivion
Drain cans of Spaghettios, reserving sauce in a separate measuring cup.
Mix eggs, yolks, and cheese, seasoning with a pinch of salt and a metric assload of freshly cracked black pepper, until the mixture is well-blended.
Brown bacon or pancetta in large skillet until it is barely crisp. Dump pasta noodles into pan with pork and stir. Heat until bubbling.
Transfer pasta mixture to a large mixing bowl, gently stirring in egg and cheese mixture until the residual heat has cooked the egg enough to not give you diarrhea.
Congratulations, you’re now the most important food blogger in the world.