Help! We need flavorful but pocket-friendly comfort food that singletons like us (that is, workaholic, reasonably frugal yet enjoying our independence) can easily cook at home on the Day of Hearts.
That was our SOS to Janina Raella “Ninay” Zamora, owner-cook-barista of Arc & Vine Café in Makati.
A product of Center for Culinary Arts, Manila, Ninay has been a food fairy in the café’s vicinity, whose work force and solo renters would go to her coffee shop to de-stress, unwind with a cuppa or have a quick bite. Hers may be a modest enterprise, but one that serves affordable quality (read: potent) coffee and filling meals that are as pleasing to the eye as they are satisfying to the palate.
Here’s Ninay’s recipe for single-serve pasta with copious amounts of cheese plus delicious cured meat.
Bacon-Loaded Spaghetti with Shiitake in Cream Sauce
• 90 g Del Monte spaghetti pasta
• 60 ml Emborg cooking cream
• At least 2 strips of bacon, cut into ½-inch-thick pieces
• 4-5 pcs shiitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
• ½ pc small white onion, diced
• Parmesan cheese, preferably a block but can be substituted with packaged grated variety
• ½ tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp salt
• Parsley as garnish, chopped or in sprigs
Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling water with 1 tbsp salt for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally with tongs to keep pasta from sticking. Have a colander or strainer ready for easy transfer of cooked pasta from the pot.
While pasta is cooking, heat nonstick frying pan then fry bacon on it. Remove bacon when edges turn crisp, let rest on paper towels. Set aside about a tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
In the same pan, sauté with butter and bacon fat first the shiitake, then onions. Add ingredients one at a time, giving a quick stir to incorporate, in this order— cream, grated parmesan (careful, though, too much thickens the cream), fried bacon, a bit more grated cheese.
Drained of excess water, spaghetti should be quickly folded into cream sauce in the pan. Lower heat. Make sure pasta and cream are evenly mixed.
Use tongs to transfer spaghetti dish on a plate. A slight twist of the wrist helps to make a mound of the pasta. Pour over all remnants from the pan. Garnish with parsley and, if desired, more parmesan.
Ninay Zamora’s Super tip: Use S&R bacon which, when cooked, doesn’t shrink as much as the popular supermarket brands and has just enough fat for flavor.
Arc & Vine Café is at G/F, Graceland Place, Zapote St. cor. Ponte St., Barangay Santa Cruz, Makati City.
Check out Arc & Vine Café on Facebook; follow @arcandvine_ph on Instagram.