Thursday, February 17, 2011

No creaming off the top

One of my favourite pastas is the classic Roman Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Many people like to add cream and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t, after all ‘fat is flavour,’ but I don’t and I think it’s really lekker without it. I’ve been using this recipe since I started making my own bacon.  What’s so great is that it works just as well with the off cuts  - I use  these ‘cheaper bits’ since I’ve realized that I can’t afford to  eat the profit.  Of course you can chop up the rashers, If I had to choose I’d use back as it’s the meatiest, but if you’d like me to supply you with some off cuts, I’d be happy to. 

Serves 4-6
A splash of olive oil
A knob of butter
2 shallots, chopped fine or a red onion if you don’t have any
200 g bacon chopped coarsely
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup homemade chicken stock (my recipe to come)
4 large free range egg yolks (I’ll give you a cool alternative to making meringue with the whites)
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmesan works well too)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 packet Fettuccine (I prefer it to spaghetti)
Place a large pot of water over a high heat and bring to the boil for the pasta.
In the meantime heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and bacon pieces and cook until the shallots are translucent and the bacon is lightly browned, - 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat while you cook the pasta. When the water is boiling rapidly add a pinch of salt and then the fettuccine. Cook uncovered over high heat until al dente.
Drain and add the pasta to the sauté pan and place it back over medium-high heat.
Add the egg yolks, cheese and an ample grindings of black pepper and heat through gently until the pasta is well coated and creamy.
Transfer to individual pasta dishes and serve with extra cheese on top. Lastly (optional) add a splash or good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon..
Now eat.
I’m out to cure the world.

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