Heartburn: the book, the movie, the carbonara
I don´t know if you´ve read Heartburn , but if you haven´t, do, because it´s a very funny book about a cookbook writer. The thing is chock full of food, and even has a few recipes. It was written before the Craze That Swept The World, and isn´t self-conscious in its foodiness.
Plus, it has the über foodline "pesto is the quiche of the eighties", later used in When Harry met Sally, to great effect.
I´ve had the book for ages, but it wasn´t until I came across a reference to the film in Nigella´s Feast that I even knew the film existed. A quick Imdb search, and I saw that it was made by Mike Nichols 1985 with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, music by Carly Simon. I was intrigued. Why wasn´t it more famous? Was it one of those overlooked masterpieces, like Love in the afternoon, or Soapdish? Or one of those good-on-paper, bad-in-bed star vehicles like About a boy?
It´s neither. An ok film, but nowhere near the book. It has carbonara, though, which the book doesn´t.
The first time they sleep together, Meryl cooks spagetti carbonara and takes it, in the pan, with two forks, to Jack, who´s still in bed. He wiggles his eyebrows in that wicked way of his, and she says, very indignant, "Usually I never cook on the first date, you know"
In her recipe for carbonara, Nigella writes about this scene, and then blithely gushes about " a panful of hot pasta, to be taken back to bed and sharingly slurped". Which is all very well, but I´m too bourgeois not to worry about my nice sheets. And judging from the mess José makes eating at a normal table, I shudder to think what he might do in bed with a bowl of pasta. We wouldn´t be married now, so it´s good news that I don´t cook on a first date, either.
I´ll spare you the writing of another carbonara recipe. You probably have one you like already, right? If not, here´s one . I do it like that, minus the garlic, and adding a splash of vermouth to the bacon and then reducing it to a fatty caramelized jus.
You don´t have to eat this in bed, of course, but it does lend itself to lazy times. I suggest the sofa, deep bowls, and maybe even Heartburn, the movie, which won´t distract you from the pasta.