The Classic.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Today we are going to be discussing the classic dish, Pasta Carbonara. Did I ever mention that I'm a HUGE Jamie Oliver fan? Because I am. I know most people (and especially Americans) don't really care for his approach to cooking and fresh produce but I find it to be refreshing and quite healthy. I've never actually made this dish before but I found the whole separating yolk from white thing to be kinda fun. Messy, but fun. All in the name of cooking right?

ALRIGHT FOLKS. So this recipe was taken from one of my Jamie Oliver cookbooks. Unfortunately I made this awhile ago and don't have the book currently with me as I am at school at the moment. So I've looked around the internet and found what I BELIEVE is closest to the actual recipe. Here goes!

Jamie Oliver's Pasta Carbonara


* 1 tsp Sea Salt
* 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
* 300 g Courgette
* 500 g Penne Pasta
* 4 egg yolk
* 100 mL Double Cream
* 2 cups Parmesan
* 1 tbsp Olive Oil
* 6 oz Pancetta
* 2 tsp Thyme, Fresh


Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Halve and then quarter any larger courgettes lengthways. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and slice the courgettes at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne. Smaller courgettes can simply be sliced finely. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions.

To make your creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly and put to one side.

Heat a very large frying pan (a 35cm one is a good start – every house should have one!), add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the courgette slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a stir, so the courgettes become coated with all the lovely bacon-flavoured oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.

It’s very important to get this next bit right or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the courgettes, bacon and lovely flavours, then remove from the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now, otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs.)

Get everyone around the table, ready to eat straight away. While you’re tossing the pasta and sauce, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give you a silky and shiny sauce. Taste quickly for seasoning. If you’ve managed to get any courgette flowers, tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately, as the sauce can become thick and stodgy if left too long.

P.S: I really would rather not think about how many calories this is, but such is life!


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