My dad and mom were stationed in Naples, Italy for several years in the late 70s. Growing up, I always remember them talking about the country, the people, the food and the fond memories that they had.
Memories like shipping a brand new 1978 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 over to Naples for mom to drive while dad was on deployment. It arrived in the port right before he had to get underway. This wouldn’t have normally been an issue, however the workers wouldn’t release the car to my mom so dad had to get special permission to leave the ship to go pick it up for her.
Memories of learning how to drive stick on the narrow, windy and hilly city streets of Naples with its famously chaotic driving.
Memories of living off-base in a local neighborhood where they learned a little bit of the language…and a lot of the cooking! So much so, that they created a cookbook to bring back home to share with family and friends.
My dad’s artwork on the cover of their cookbook.
Growing up, one of my favorite dishes was Spaghetti Carbonara, or Coal Miners Spaghetti. This is an easy weeknight meal that takes almost no thought or preparation. In fact, the ingredients are things that I almost always have in my refrigerator. It is so simple and yet so delicious!
For 6 persons.
- 6 eggs
- 1 pkg of pancetta (or bacon)
- 1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- pinch of garlic powder
Mix eggs, cheese, salt and garlic powder. Cook pasta and drain. Cook pancetta and reserve one teaspoon of grease per person. In the same pan that was used for pasta, melt one stick of butter. Add pasta. Add remaining butter. Toss continuously! Add pancetta, drippings, cream, and egg mixture. Turn off heat. Mix thoroughly. DO NOT LET EGGS COOK! Serve immediately.
I continue to make this pasta for my kids and both Liam and Addison love it! There are never any leftovers.