It was freezing yesterday.
What may surprise anyone who does not live in Paris, is that the weather in the winter is pretty much just as grey and rainy as London. So when the sun shines in January, you must get out and profite du soleil, as the French say. Literally, “profit from the sun.”
So I spent the afternoon having one my meandering strolls through the city with mon voisin. He lives just upstairs after all, it was only neighborly to invite him along. This time I went wandering around the Left Bank since I hadn’t been that way in a while. I strolled by Shakespeare & Co, and dreamed of the day I’d see my book in there. I admired Place Monge, I sat in a lovely chaise in the Jardin du Luxembourg and took a stroll through Le Bon Marche. Then, the sun went down, and the wind picked up and I became simultaneously freezing, and starving.
When the question “what to have for dinner? came up, I knew it was the kind of night I wanted something filling; something warm; something fatty. “Carbonara,” he proposed asked?
I looked at him very seriously and said, “that is EXACTLY what I want. “Exacte.”
But comme habitude, there was nothing in my fridge apart from champagne. five types of butter, and some left over poulet rôti. But three quick stops on la rue, and we had everything we needed.
1 – Fromagerie: creme fraiche
2 – Butcherie: lardons
3- Tratieur Italien: pasta, parmesan
Twenty minutes later, we were sitting down at the table with the best bowl of carbonara I’ve ever eaten in my life. It came together so quickly, and the recipe is literally foolproof. What makes this recipe “French style” is the addition of a tablespoon of mustard. I was stirring the sauce when mon voisin saw the Maille in my fridge, he said, ‘should we add dijon?”
“To carbonara,” I replied?
“Mais pourquoi pas – c’est la France,” he said.
That settled it.