Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Carbonara - potentially contention causing

I love carbonara, it's a relatively new thing for me to eat and make as growing up I was anti most dairy products. Truth be told I'm still anti lots of dairy products as I can't eat them without shall we say, unpleasant side effects? However, occaisionally I think diet be damned and decide to make M's day with his favourite dish, carbonara.

Last time I made it, I had some fantastically fresh asparagus that I cooked briefly in with the pasta water, and then tossed through the sauce. Not conventional, or strictly a carbonara really but I really liked it, as sometimes it's nice to have a foil to the richness of such a dish.

Recipe wise, carbonara is epically straightforward, however when I posted these instagram pics I was met with a flurry of dissention - cream isn't an authentic addition, and the asparagus caused some of my twitter followers to have conniption fits. That said, it's how I like it; based on the Nigella recipe in Feast under the heading of dishes for romance - although I do make it by eye now. I should just add that I don't use the quantity of pasta Nigella suggests, not just with my waistline in mind - but 500g between two people? Really? There is no way I'd be up for anything post 250g of spaghetti, much less any romance! It'd be peppermint tea and a lie down in front of Episodes or The Big Bang Theory only!

I'm going to blog two recipes here, firstly my take on the Nigella one, and secondly my Dad's recipe, I make them both, interchangeably but, understandably Daddy's has sentimental value. I still have the print out of the email he sent me with it in - from 3rd May 2001.

125 - 200g pasta
1 packet of streaky bacon, chopped up
2 tsps olive oil
Sherry glass/ half a wine glass of vermouth
4 eggs
50 g (ish) parmesan
Lots of black pepper
60ml of double cream
Nutmeg, freshly grated

Cook the pasta as per pack instructions (unless it's wholemeal, normally 10 minutes in salted, boiling water)
Gently heat up the olive oil in a big pan
Add the bacon and cook down gently at first to render down the fat. Then turn the heat up and cook the bacon until it's crispy
Add the vermouth (you can substitute with white wine, but as I don't drink that much - honest - I keep vermouth in the house to use instead) and reduce down until it's syrupy
Beat the eggs, cream, parmesan and pepper together in a jug or bowl
About a minute or two before the pasta's ready, add a ladleful of the water to the bacon and vermouth
Drain the (now cooked) pasta and add to the pan with the bacon in
Toss the bacon through the pasta and add the egg mixture, continuing to toss it through
Add more pepper and some grated nutmeg, and serve promptly

I don't add anything side-dish wise to this, if I were to, it would be a green salad with a tart dressing to cut through the richness of the sauce. It only takes ten minutes (at most) to cook, and is perfect Friday night fare. I wouldn't do it for more than 4 people though, it's ideal for two, but many more than that and it would be unwieldy.

This time when I added the asparagus, it was to the pasta pan, about 3-4 minutes before it was ready, and then just drained it with the pasta.

Parental Pantry Carbonara (typed out verbatim)

Chop lots of smoked streaky bacon into small pieces - you can use pancetta if you want to be Italian, but not the chunks of pancetta
Slice a clove of two of fresh garlic, according to taste
Open a carton of double cream - half a pint
Grate a piece of fresh parmesan - about a cupful in all
Liberate 2/ three fresh eggies (I said verbatim)

Cook bacon nicely till just starting to crisp
Add the garlic just before it's ready
Pour over half a pint of double cream and warm through until hot - DO NOT BRING IT TO THE BOIL IT DOES NASTY THINGS (his capitals, it was pre shouty capitals)
Add fresh eggies and half the parmesan, stir until it thickens NEVER ALLOW TO BOIL

Whilst all of this is going on, cook spaghetti according to the packet
When complete mix spaghetti and sauce in bowls, coat spaghetti with rest of parmesan and black pepper


All my love


*goes off to weep gently into tea over happy memories* If you make this one, make it with love. For me.


SILVIA said...

fantastic pictures honey ;)
I hope you have a lovely day


pbarone said...

Looks good but.... This is definitely NOT carbonara! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye