Today's Food & Wine section had an extra dose of flavorful fat, given the cover story on the Mangalitsa pig. From the French Laundry to some of Sacramento's finest kitchens and gourmet grocers, this pig is coveted for its exceptional fat and rich meat - though it can come with a hefty price tag, too.
But really, give some Mangalitsa a try for yourself. For you folks who want to dedicate some time in the kitchen, here's a recipe from chef Kelly McCown of Ella Dining Room & Bar that shows off the Mangalitsa in bacon form. Save some of the bacon fat for some refried beans or green beans. Mmmmm ...
Fettucine Carbonara, by chef Kelly McCown
4 ounces fresh fettucine (see recipe)
4 ounces Mangalitsa bacon lardons, blanched (see recipe)
1 ounce parmesan cream (see recipe)
2 tablespoons chives
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 farm raised egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
1. Place pasta in salted boiling water and cook for four minutes.
2.. While pasta is cooking, in a thick bottom sautÃ© pan, over medium high heat, place the bacon lardons and render until just crispy.
3. Drain off Â½ the rendered fat, and away from the flame, add chicken stock and allow to create a suspension.
4. Add parmesan cream and black pepper and reduce slightly.
5. Remove pasta from the boiling water and add to sauce pan, cooking pasta in the sauce briefly.
6. Spin pasta and place in a serving bowl, top with egg yolk and grated parmesan.
Note: the following recipes are geared for Ella's kitchen, and will require some scaling back for home cooks
1 pound flour
12 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons milk
1. Place flour in center of mixing bowl with paddle.
2. Whisk egg yolks, whole eggs, oil, and milk.
3. Turn mixer on speed #1 and slowly pour egg mixture into center of flour, slowly, until dough comes together.
4. Remove dough from machine and knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Divide dough into quarters and wrap in plastic. Let dough rest for one half hour.
6. Begin by rolling dough through the #10 setting of the pasta machine. Repeat two to three times to even out the dough.
7. Fold in half and make a quarter turn, rolling through #10. Repeat process 5 times. Roll dough down to #5 and fold in thirds.
8. Begin at #10 again rolling through each number twice until you reach between 0 and 1, then roll only once.
9. Place dough sheet on semolina and cut into desired shapes.
1 1/2 quarts heavy cream
1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
Nutmeg to taste
Salt and pepper
1. Scald the cream and season with nutmeg salt and pepper
2. In three equal batches puree 1/3 of the cream with 1/3 of parmesan cheese
3. Adjust seasoning
4. Ice and reserve for service
5 pounds Mangalitsa pork belly
4 pounds Kosher salt
1 ounce sel Rose
1. Dry and trim pork belly.
2. Prepare a sheet pan with clean roasting rack wrapped with cheese cloth.
3. Season pork belly with Sel Rose.
4. Lay Â½ the kosher salt on the prepared pan.
5. Lay pork belly on the salt layer and cover with remaining salt.
6. Cure pork belly for two weeks, turning every 4 days.
7. Rinse belly from cure after allotted time.
8. Dry belly for two days in a cool place.
9. Once dry, smoke belly with applewood chips @ 175 degree f
10. Cool and allow to cure for an additional two days.