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Pasta for a Christmas Picnic

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December 6, 2014 / Italian / By

It is winter, but in Dubai, winter is the perfect time for a picnic. So the first Friday in December, Friday being a day off for most people, my daughter-in-law organizes a Christmas picnic at the Dubai Creek Park. The theme is potluck and we do end up with some interesting mixes.

The park is a very popular spot, so we meet early to beat the crowds. Most people prefer to picnic in the evening especially when the weather is hot. In fact, at those times, it is not uncommon to see little groups picnicking at midnight on the cool, wide grass verges of the roads near where I live. I call them vampire picnics.

But we were going for a lunch time picnic under the shade of a tree in the park. This year there were at least nine different nationalities. Although, the food did not represent the cultural span, it was still interesting and delicious.

The Italian/Lebanese contingent brought carbonara pasta. What surprised me about the dish was that it was made with cream. It was delicious, but I prefer to make it with eggs and have always assumed this is the traditional way. The cook was Sicilian; they do things differently there.

Carbonara Pasta

500 grams of pasta of choice (I prefer spaghetti)

250-300 grms chopped bacon

5 eggs

2-3 cloves of sliced garlic

Parmesan to taste

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet in salted water. About 5 minutes before the pasta is ready, fry the sliced garlic in olive oil, then add the bacon and cook until just crisp.

Beat the eggs.

When the pasta is ready, drain it. Add the hot bacon and garlic mix including the bacon fat and oil. Swirl it around and add the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly and serve it instantly. Serves five. I always put the parmesan on the table and let people help themselves.

The one thing you have to be careful about is not to let the eggs scramble. Preventing this is done by not having the pasta mix too hot and swirling the eggs in vigorously. If they do scramble, the dish will still be delicious but not so pretty.

As well as pasta we had Mexican chili, Egyptian stuffed vine leaves, little spinach pies and numerous meats and salads. Then for desert, we went Italian again with a Pan D’Oro and a Panatone. I do not have a recipe for these delicious, traditional festival breads. There are so many different varieties most people can find one that meets their exacting standards.

Remember I mentioned that it is a very popular park. Well, when we came to leave there was a little grey car parked over the back of our car. I thought they may have had the sense to leave the handbrake off so that we could push it, but no. We stood around huffing and puffing. Then a policeman came up to us and said, "Ring him. He will come. Have you tried ringing him?"

We were confused. How could we ring someone we did not know? But, it seems that this happens every weekend as parking is at a premium. So, when parking in this odd way, people leave their phone numbers on the dashboard and come at a run when you call.


Country: United Arab Emirates

Province/State: Dubayy

City: N/A

Address: Creek Park

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A


Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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