Friday, February 29, 2008

The Hunt for Speck...and a Great Pasta Dish

I do hope Ruth, the charming host of Presto Pasta Nights is so busy getting ready for the party that she doesn't realize I'm a little late with this post. It's just that after more than two months of having this issue of Cucina Italiana sitting on my counter, I finally decided that Speck or no...I'd make this awesome dish for the big birthday bash.

But let's back up a bit...when I bought the magazine, the first thing that caught my eye was a glorious photo (much better than mine) of a spaghetti dish...but the title...Spaghetti con Speck e Pangrattato...SPECK!? ....And here's where I show my ignorance....I swear the only thing I could think of was SPAM, which I've never eaten - honest! The thought of eating ground up, congealed meat from a can is too much for me. I have seen it and it just looks too much like cat or dog food.

Naturally, because the magazine is so classy and I have many a great issue with food stains to prove it, I had to find out what exactly Speck is...Wikipedia says it's a juniper flavored proscuitto...which sounds divine. But where oh where in lovely Halifax would I find any? The only place that even knew what I was talking about was Pete's Frootique, but speck was on back order and my name was added to a call list. Well, 3 weeks later and still no speck, so I bought some Serrano Ham - apparently in the same ball park.

Because everything sounds better in Italian

This is truly an awesome dish - the sugary caramelized onions is a perfect balance with the salty ham and I'm so glad I got to share it with the rest of you in time for the big party...but I will still be on the hunt for Speck and if anyone knows of where in Halifax I might find it....I'm all ears!

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