Friday, 6 May 2011

Carbonara (my way)

Carbonara pasta (my way)

I’ve been slummy this week, very slummy. It’s been one of those rare weeks when I’ve not really been in the mood for much kitchen time. We are getting work done to the flat and I now have first hand experience of the term “bombsite”. Dust is literally everywhere, in my hair, inside drawers, even under the sofa. I’ve not had a proper wash in days. Add to this I’ve had a bug which left me flat and lifeless on the sofa for a few days.  I'm never very good at being ill.

Eventually I managed enough willpower to tear myself off my bum and get through to the kitchen, not to eat biscuits straight out the packet for my diner but to make some “proper” food as my grandma would say.

Crispy pancetta bits
I needed comfort and carbs, I needed carbonara (my way). My mum can be quite healthy when the mood takes her and has installed in me a strong believe that a dinner should always feature something green. The idea of having a true Italian carbonara provokes the most minor of cold sweats on me. What no vegetables? Italians would of course have their vegetables in one of their other courses but I was not in the mood for mucking around with multiple dishes so I made carbonara my way.

Carbonara mixture
We have this dish every so often as a quick and indulgent mid week supper. It’s pretty handy recipe to have up my sleeve as most of the ingredients I tend to have knocking around my fridge or freezer anyways, the cream I can always pick up at the corner shop on my way home from work. After our royal wedding party I had a litre (yes a litre) of cream leftover, I’ve made my first attempt at freezing half of it and put some of it towards this dish.

Almost there...
Carbonara my way – serves 2

225g spaghetti or linguini
Handful of cubed pancetta or 8 strips
2 courgettes, coarsely grated
handful of frozen peas
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
2 egg yolks
100ml double cream
small handful of finely grated parmesan or pecorino
sea salt
ground black pepper, lots
a little vegetable oil

Put the oil in a heavy based pan and start frying off the pancetta over a moderately high heat.
Cook for about 5 minutes and until golden and crispy. Think of the pancetta as seasoning and adding crunchy texture.
Drain from the pan and let it cool on some kitchen towel.
In the same pan with the oil add the courgette and cook down over a medium heat.
After a few minutes add the frozen peas.
Season the vegetables as required.
In the mean time get the pasta on in well salted water. It will take about 7-8 minutes or until it is edible but still with a slight bite.
To make the tasty bit, mix the cream, parmesan and egg yolks together.
Grind in enough black pepper to give a bit of heat. This is important to prevent the dish from being too flat and cloying.
Add the garlic to courgettes and peas, being careful not to let it burn.
Drain the pasta and add it to the veggies.
Add in the cream and the bacon.
Mix through.



  1. Gail McLauchlan7 May 2011 at 16:59

    Yummy! Has made me super hungry.

  2. This does look like a "proper dish", with the addition of green, a full meal. Sounds wonderful.