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Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)

Steve Shaw 08 Nov 17 - 07:51 PM
Acme 08 Nov 17 - 09:29 PM
Dave Hanson 09 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 17 - 05:48 AM
Raedwulf 10 Nov 17 - 04:22 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 17 - 06:02 PM
Joe Offer 10 Nov 17 - 07:01 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 17 - 07:50 PM
Acme 10 Nov 17 - 08:16 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 17 - 08:27 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 17 - 08:39 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 17 - 10:53 AM
michaelr 13 Nov 17 - 07:53 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 17 - 08:00 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 17 - 08:28 PM
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Subject: BS: Bravo Antonio
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 17 - 07:51 PM

Antonio Carluccio, I salute you. You showed me how to do the perfect carbonara and how to keep things simple whilst cooking superb Italian dishes. If there's a heaven, they'll be eating well up there tonight! With my last glass of Negroamaro of the evening, I drink to you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Bravo Antonio
From: Acme
Date: 08 Nov 17 - 09:29 PM

I had to look him up. My condolences - and I hope you'll share a favorite recipe you learned from him.

Antonio Carluccio obit, via BBC.

This year I read what was essentially the autobiography of Julia Child. It was written by her nephew Alex Prud'Homme, My Life In France, compiled from letters she and husband Paul wrote to friends and family. This was a major source that went into the film Julie and Julia. It was a fascinating epistolary autobiography. She described several other chefs who were important in her world, and though I don't remember reading this name, it was probably in there. It made me want to look into why other prominent chefs got into the business.

After reading that amazing book, I decided I needed to try one of her recipes. I chose her roast chicken recipe, and it truly is perfect. I'll need to look it up in the book a couple of more times before I remember all of the steps, and make it mine. What recipes of Carluccio's were special to you?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM

RIP Antonio, a great chef and a nice man.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 05:48 AM

It has to be his carbonara. You can see him doing it on YouTube (the one on Foodtube that's just over five minutes). I am a kitchen rebel in that I tend to never follow recipes to the letter, but this is different. For two of us I use exactly half a pack, 250g, of spaghetti (preferably bronze die to hold the sauce better), two eggs plus one extra yolk, about three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and about four ounces of guanciale (cured pig's cheek).

I doubt whether you can buy guanciale anywhere in Cornwall. Every few weeks I have to visit my parents who live just outside Manchester and near them there's an Italian deli (Roma in Whitefield, right next to Morrisons). Every time I went in there I pestered them about guanciale and now they seem to have it all the time. You can use UNSMOKED pancetta instead, but buy it in the piece and cut it up yourself. Those little prepacked cubes you can buy in supermarkets are invariably horrible, and sliced pancetta just isn't right. In June we visited a lovely little town in northern Italy called Varenna, and there was a stall in the street market there with guanciale piled three feet high! The gentle, fragrant spiciness of the guanciale and melt-in-the-mouth texture make it the thing to use if you can get it. You may think from the video that it's just a chunk of nearly pure fat but be assured that it isn't like that at all.

The golden rules for success are:

No cream. They'd laugh at you in Italy.

Keep testing the spaghetti, just as Antonio does. One minute too much and the dish is ruined. You want it perfectly al dente. The pack time is only a guide.

Don't drain the spaghetti too thoroughly. You need a bit of pasta water in the sauce. I always save a bit in a cup anyway, just in case I need a drop more. I do that with any pasta dish.

You MUST take the frying pan off the heat before tipping in the spaghetti and adding the egg mixture. If you don't, because the idea of raw egg worries you, you'll get little lumps of scrambled egg instead of a smooth, creamy sauce. You'll still eat it but it will be done in stonyfaced silence. We've all been there. When you do add the egg, mix it fast.

I've seen a recipe which includes chopped fresh parsley. It adds nothing in my opinion.

Ottimo!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Raedwulf
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 04:22 PM

Shut up, Steve, you're making me hungry! ;-)

(What time's dinner, dad? :D )


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 06:02 PM

I was going to do the carbonara tonight but we opted instead for orecchiette con cime di rape, which is orecchiette pasta with broccoli or turnip tops with chilli and garlic. It's a traditional dish from Puglia in the far south of Italy. I think I may be cheating by using a few cherry tomatoes and a bit of chopped parsley. But what a dish. A bit of grated pecorino or parmesan is a nice finish. Here's how I do it. We LOVE it! You need about half a pound of chopped broccoli, preferably the tenderstem type, but anything will do. The stalky bits add a really nice bite.

For two people:

Get your biggest, heaviest frying pan. Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Two cloves of garlic, sliced (NEVER use a garlic crusher. Throw it away!). About half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (or hack up one or two red chillies, to taste).

Saute that lot very gently for about four minutes. The garlic must not turn brown.

Meanwhile, get your pasta going in your biggest pan in tons of salted water. If you can't get orecchiette, any short pasta will do. I sometimes use gigli or a not-too-big shell pasta. 250g.

Get back to your saute pan and add a handful of cherry toms cut in half, along with a big handful of chopped fresh parsley. Add a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper.

When the pasta has two minutes to go (trust me here), throw the broccoli into the pasta pan.

As soon as the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta/broccoli pan, reserving a bit of the water. Throw the whole lot into the pan containing the sauce. Stir everything together. Loosen with a bit of pasta water if necessary (I didn't need that tonight). Put into two bowls, sprinkle with your grated pecorino or parmesan, drizzle with your finest olive oil and devour. Ottimo!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 07:01 PM

Steve, someday, I hope to make it to your house for dinner. Cheers!
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 07:50 PM

You'd be welcome. I'll do you my baked orecchiette with chilli tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. Eaten out of bowls off your knee. The stringy mozzarella is always a challenge to our guests but it doesn't take 'em long to get over it! Always washed down with Nero d'Avola from Sicily. OMG, I have the ingredients, Mrs Steve...!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Acme
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 08:16 PM

I want to have dinner at your house also!

We have many of those interesting ingredients here, I'll have to poke around and see what I can pull together.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 08:27 PM

Antonio always emphasised simplicity in his cooking, using the best-quality ingredients you could get your hands on. He railed against the British "spaghetti bolognese" habit, saying that Italians never use spaghetti for a ragu of that kind, and scorning the use of garlic, oregano and basil in that dish. Many Italian cooks decry the use of garlic and onions in the same dish, though others are not so purist. As a kitchen thickie, I appreciate all injunctions to keep things simple. Dunno whether I've mentioned it before, but if you want a really simple plateful of food that can't go wrong, try Marcella Hazan's butter and onion tomato sauce, with spaghetti and Parmesan. It's unbelievably simple and unbelievably tasty.

For two people.

Take one tin, the very best you can get, of Italian plum tomatoes, alternatively about a pound and a a half of good ripe tomatoes, skinned by the boiling water method. Sod it, just buy a tin!

Peel a large onion and cut it in half.

This is SO easy!

Put the tinned toms in a saucepan along with the onion halves, a pinch of salt and an unnervingly large knob of butter, around 75 grams. Steve's cheat addition: half a teaspoon of sugar. Trust me, I'm a dog turd!   

Simmer for 45 minutes.

Throw the onion away (honest!).

Done!

Boil up your spaghetti, 250g for two, drain, mix thoroughly with the sauce, sprinkle on your parmesan and devour. You can do the sauce in advance, even freeze it, but what's the point!

So good, so simple!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 08:39 PM

Sounds like I have a party in the making! I once did my orecchiette bake for fourteen ladies (Mrs Steve's tap-dancing class's annual shindig). They liked it so much that they came back the next year for my veggie Italian bean stew with shallow-fried ciabatta dumplings. With those numbers you always get one or two vegetarians, but the carnivores didn't notice a thing. I had to clarify in advance apropos of the parmesan and mozzarella, which, strictly speaking, are not vegetarian as they must be made with animal rennet. But they were OK with that, agreeing with the sentiment that I'd done my best!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 10:53 AM

There's a great pullout "Cook" section in the Saturday Guardian, devoted to pasta. Without pasta, I die. My heroine Rachel Roddy has a recipe for braising a lump of beef in a rich sauce for two hours, keeping the piece of meat for another meal and using the ragu for a pasta dish. We're having the sauce tonight with fettuccine and parmesan, and the meat tomorrow with a jacket spud and summat else yet to be agreed.

For two of us I'm using a piece of topside that I happened to have in the freezer (dunno whether topside is quite the right cut - I'll let you know!). It's organic and weighs about a pound.

Chop up one big carrot, one big or two smaller sticks of celery and a large onion (or some banana shallots, my favourites). Meanwhile in a heavy pan with a lid saute four ounces of pancetta or streaky bacon chopped into some extra virgin olive oil.

Add the chopped veg with a handful of fresh chopped parsley. Stir in and simmer gently for ten or fifteen minutes.

Turn up the heat and put the meat in, turning it over to brown it all round. Add half a bottle of red wine (do NOT use "cooking wine" or that which you have condemned as rocket fuel!). Let it bubble for five minutes then add about 400ml passata or a tin of chopped tomatoes or some real ones, take your pick but quality is paramount. I'm using passata, as I'm expecting the sauce to be chunky enough owing to the vegetables. Add two bay leaves. Season.

Put the lid on and simmer for two hours. Half-way through, taste for seasoning and maybe turn the meat over. As I type this, mine has half an hour to go and the house smells gorgeous.

To be continued...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 07:53 PM

My dear wife keeps nudging me to try the Atkins diet. My response never varies: "No pasta? No way!"

Steve, can you please post a link to that carbonara recipe?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 08:00 PM

I'm notoriously awful at doing links, and another fifteen minutes' efforts would result in frustration, but I think if you just Google something like "Antonio Carluccio carbonara". you'd get the YouTube video. Hang on:

Yep, just tried it! It's the video that lasts just over five minutes.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bravo Antonio- Antonio Carluccio (1937-2017)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 08:28 PM

Apropos of my recipe of 10.53 yesterday, the results were sensational. The pound of beef with all that liquid added (which all took precisely two hours, by the way), yielded easily enough sauce, a lovely, rich, meaty ragu, for pasta for four people. Simply toss the hot sauce with fettuccine, pappardelle or whatever you like, sprinkle with parmesan and Bob's your uncle. We ate the beef tonight with a jacket spud and a salad dressed with the best olive oil and very expensive balsamic vinegar.* Nirvana!

*UK NOTE: I cook only with extra virgin olive oil. If you start off the cooking being careful with the temperature, you can do that. Just don't let the oil smoke. For cooking I've found that Napolina extra virgin is brilliant. Don't waste money on their "special editions," etc. I won't have those thin, ultra-refined non-virgin oils in the house. For salad dressings and drizzling on to pizzas or pasta dishes, or for dipping (which the Italians never do, more fool them!), you need the very best. You will not be disappointed if you buy a bottle of Marks and Spencer Toscana olive oil. Ten quid the bottle but it lasts for yonks. NOT for cooking with! As for balsamic vinegar, do not buy those silly bottles of supermarket rubbish that are as thin as water. If you're paying less than about twelve quid a bottle, you are wasting your money. Proper balsamic vinegar is spicy and almost as sweet as honey, takes ages to pour out and it makes a fabulous salad dressing, three parts Toscana to one part proper balsamic. No-one is forcing you to listen to me!


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