Saturday, 11 February 2012

Spam Carbonara

Sometimes, your kitchen will not be as well-stocked as you hope it to be, because of your commitments, so much so that you will be left with very little to make something meaningful. I encountered one such situation today when all I had left was the leftover Basics chopped pork and ham, frozen from last time, a serving of spaghetti, an egg and some spinach. Then again, the British Army, known for their resilience, have managed to make do with less for much longer.

Due to the United States' involvement in World War II and its resultant global military presence, Spam was to be found almost everywhere you go, having left its cultural mark in the post-war period in the UK, South Korea, and the Philippines, amongst other places. It is claimed that in the mean time, the Italians were supplied by American occupation troops with bacon and eggs, giving rise to Carbonara, though the veracity of that claim cannot be ascertained. If it were true however, they could have just as easily used Spam instead, and so it would have been interesting if they really did. With all that in mind, I decided to make myself some luncheon meat carbonara.

The preparation was very simple: start by frying the luncheon meat with some garlic, while the spaghetti is cooking. Throw in the spinach when the spaghetti is almost cooked, and then add the pasta. Take the pan off heat, beat an egg, and then pour it into the lot, stirring vigourously. Add Basics grated hard cheese and serve.

This was quick to prepare, and satisfying. The only drawback here would be the nutritional value, but if you are, hungry, in a hurry and caught short on kitchen stock, that would probably be the last thing on your mind. Oddly enough, this also brought to mind the Spam sketch, Monty Python's last ever comedy item, where the overwhelming presence of the word "Spam" on the cafe's menu gave rise to its use to describe Internet junk mail.

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