I’m on a bit of a pasta kick these days that involves putting the egg on the inside. A few months back I made a duck egg raviolo appetizer that complemented the fresh white Alba truffle I shaved over it perfectly. Now that the Alba truffle season is passed and my inner foodie snob will not allow me to substitute domestics or French blacks, I’m forced to pair my eggs with such exotic ingredients as bacon (really going out on an adventurous limb here, I know). Now when you think bacon, egg and pasta, what comes to mind? You got it, carbonara- the Emilia-Romagna or Lazio- originated comfort food quite popular amongst noi Americani because we sure do love our bacon. But I can never make it that simple. No, there always has to be a culinary twist, and in this case I decided to make the eggs quail, the pasta giant ravioli called raviolone, and cook the eggs inside the pasta instead of cracked over the top upon tossing.
A quail egg is the perfect size to work with to fill a raviolo. It gently bursts from its mottled shell into the waiting mote of ricotta in a faultless decisive moment. Cooked al dente in its raviolone package, the yolk oozes forth like a particularly lively poached egg. After this lengthy Pollyanna intro, you would think everything in my kitchen was coming up sugar and spice and everything nice. You would be wrong. You see, I have an 18 month old boy named Bentley Danger. Why oh why did I give him the middle name Danger? People live up to their names, and in his case it couldn’t be truer. What is it they say about little boys? Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails? Well we haven’t gotten there yet, but we will. He’s smart as a whip but so mischievous and curious I can’t fathom what the terrible twos have in store.
While I was elbow deep rolling out pasta sheets on the island in my kitchen, Bentley decided to open the floor-height wine refrigerator. The locking mechanism broke last week and Jonas and I have been scratching our heads on how to somehow baby proof the fridge while not adult proofing it at the same time, since we do require ready access. Bentley is completely aware of this development, and I’ve had to blockade the fridge numerous times in the last week. Somehow intuitively knowing that I would be engrossed in my pasta mass and therefore unable to retaliate, he managed to lift a bottle out of the fridge (starting early, I know). The really bad part? He proceeded to drop it whereupon it shattered upon contact with the floor. I jumped to action and lifted him away from any danger, coating him in a mixture of duck egg and semolina in the process. I put him in his crib and went back to survey the scene. The really really bad part? It wasn’t just any bottle- it was an ’01 Barbaresco worth a pretty penny in economic value, but even more sentimentally speaking, as we picked it up in Italy during our wedding festivities a few years ago. I guess you can’t fault the boy for good taste, right? In any case, all is well now, Jonas managed to repair the lock, and I decided that after smelling all that good wine during the cleanup I needed to open a bottle to finish my pasta and drown my sorrows.