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Etag con fusion 1

I love etag. I love its mature fragrance redolent of pork fat, salt, sunlight, smoke, and age. I love the way its flavor explodes in my mouth like only old, salted and air-dried pork can. In most places in the Cordilleras the meat is hung out to dry in the sun, but sometimes, as in Sagada, it's hung up to dry in the smoke of the hearth.

I love etag with pinikpikan, etag with kaldis, etag with stir-fried vegetables. And I love etag with pasta and roasted vegetables.

Yes, etag with pasta.

Ingredients: ripe tomatoes, zucchinni, shitake mushrooms (or wild mushrooms), onions, and whatever other vegetables you think will mix nicely with the basics. Depending on how large a batch of roast vegetables and pasta you want, you also need olive oil, etag and spaghetti of course, salt, garlic, crushed black peppers, 1 or 2 lemons, parmesan cheese, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Chop the veggies into bite-sized pieces. Spread them out in a baking tray with the rosemary. Sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Stick the tray in the oven, pre-heated to about 350 degrees farenheit.

While the veggies are in the oven, pre-boil the etag in a sauce pan. Etag can be excessively salty at times, so it's a good idea to pre-boil it if you're using it for something other than a big pot of pinikpikan.

After pre-boiling, you can keep the broth for soup stock. Chop the etag into small pieces, and fry to a crisp.

Get your pasta water boiling, and when the spaghetti's just the right degree of al dente for you, drain it, and shock it with cold wateer.

Take the veggies out, nicely roasted by now, and transfer them to a large serving bowl. Mix in the etag and then the pasta. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, grated parmesan, and crushed black peppers. Toss and dig in.

I'm indebted to Madame M. for taking the time one evening to instruct me by sms on how to prepare roast vegetables with pasta, and to Mr. Rogers of Sagada for cluing me in on etag as an excellent substitute for bacon. YUUUUMMMMM!

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