Oil And Torta?

This blog could probably be renamed “Oil and Torta” or have the word Torta in the title since my husband keeps making variations of torta, from surprising creations with eggplant to more classic Ligurian ones like the most recent (as of today’s lunch!) potato with leeks and cotija cheese. (Parmigiano is of course what would be used in the classic recipe).

Tortas make a wonderful staple because it reheats well for dinner the next day and is portable for lunch at work.  As I probably mentioned, it’s usually tastier the next day.

Right now I’m being spoiled with torta and ‘quick’ pasta dishes. Yesterday, or was it the day before, my husband made pasta carbonara, one of my favorites. It’s a simple dish but somehow easy to mess up, too.

Here’s the recipe with my usual disclaimer (I’m the eater and observer, not the cook!)



Pancetta (or ham/bacon??)

Parmigiano or cotija

Eggs (2)

Leeks (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil


1 ) Boil water. Throw spaghetti in when water is boiling.

2 ) Saute the pancetta. Saute leeks.  It should not take long to cook. Imported Italian pancetta is impossible to find so my husband substituted with a Polish ham. Bacon is just not the same.

3 ) Drain the spaghetti and add to a large pan with the pancetta and leeks. Salt and pepper to taste.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat.

4 ) Beat the two eggs in a separate bowl.

5 ) Add eggs to the pan. Turn on the flame to a low setting while you mix in the egg mixture and some spring water. Be sure to mix quickly and well or else the egg can harden or end up like scrambled eggs.

6 ) Salt and pepper to taste. Grate parmigiano on top.


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