Carbonara Sauce | Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara Sauce | The authentic way to make it

Carbonara Sauce is possibly one of the most distorted and ‘abused’ sauces worldwide.  I admit to being a pedant and quite militant with it when it comes to Italian food, but why mess with something so simple and delicious? By all means, make pasta with a sauce that includes cream, mushrooms…whatever you want to stick in it.  Go for it!  Just please don’t call it ‘carbonara’!

Authentic Carbonara Sauce only contains a few very simple ingredients: eggs, pecorino cheese, black pepper, guanciale (it can be difficult to get hold of in the UK – I order it online – so you CAN substitute pancetta, but for the best – and most authentic – taste, try to get hold of guanciale), olive oil.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 6 large egg yolks (if you don’t like waste, make meringue with the left-over whites)
  • 70-100g grated pecorino cheese (enough to make a thick paste with the egg yolks – the exact amount will depend on the size of the yolks)
  • plenty of freshly-ground black pepper (to taste, but you do want to see a ‘speckled’ effect, ideally)
  • 200g diced guanciale (if you really can’t get hold of any, substitute with diced pancetta – I get my guanciale online here)
  • a generous dash of olive oil (bear in mind that an Italian ‘dash’ is quite a large splash!)
  • Spaghetti for 4 people (approx. 700g)

Method:

Place a large pan / stockpot approx. 3/4 full of water onto the hob and turn the heat on high.

While the pasta water comes to the boil, separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a large serving bowl.  Add the grated pecorino cheese and freshly-ground black pepper to the egg yolks and stir in with a fork.  Aim for a thick consistency.

Carbonara Sauce | egg yolk and pecorino cheese

Egg yolk with pecorino and black pepper

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced guanciale, fry until the guanciale fat goes quite transparent and a little bit crispy.

Once the water comes to the boil, add a few drops of olive oil and a small handful of coarse sea salt.  Add the spaghetti when the water is boiling vigorously and push it down with a wooden spoon within a few seconds – as soon as it’s soft enough to ‘bend’ and stir so that all the pasta is in the water and doesn’t stick together. Cook the pasta for the indicated time on the pack, but taste it a minute or two before the indicated time to ensure you don’t over-cook it. It needs to retain a little bit of ‘bite’ – the ‘al dente’ consistency.

Once the spaghetti are cooked, drain them and immediately drop them into the big serving bowl containing the egg yolks, pecorino cheese and black pepper, mixing them with a serving spoon and fork to ensure the pasta is evenly coated in the egg, pecorino & pepper mixture and no ‘clumps’ form.

Pour on the olive oil and guanciale immediately and mix in.  Serve & enjoy!

Carbonara Sauce | Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Advertisements

Lemon Cheese | Lemon Curd

I adore lemon cheese (or lemon curd…it goes by both names)!

I also cherish lime cheese and, recently, tried someone’s Baileys Cheese and it was heavenly.

How to make these heavenly delights is something that’s always intrigued me, so I looked up the recipe and was stunned to find out how quick and easy it is to make.  I’ve not created my own recipe because, frankly, why mess with perfection?

So I followed Delia’s recipe last night and it took about 10 mins to cook with just a few mins beforehand to grate the lemon zest, squeeze the lemons for juice and get my other ingredients ready!

You can follow Delia’s recipe by clicking the link above.

Here’s the end result of my endeavours:

Lemon Cheese | Lemon Curd

A couple of points to bear in mind:

It ends up looking lighter once it’s cold

It goes a lot thicker as it cools down, so make sure you don’t thicken it to your final desired consistency in the cooking process – leave it a bit runnier

Now…for my next ones, I have a few ideas…

Marsala Cheese (Edit 5th May 2013: I’ve now made Tiramisù Cheese: A spread made with espresso, Marsala all’Uovo and cocoa!)

Strawberry & Champagne Cheese

and I’ll have to make some Lime Cheese, too, as I love it so much 🙂

Father’s Day | Perfect Scrambled Eggs | Fathers’ Day Breakfast

It will be father’s day on Sunday June 17th in the UK.  Are you ready?  Do you have your dad’s present sorted out, or have you taken your kids shopping for their dad’s present(s)?

I’ve been giving some thought to what would make a great Father’s Day meal and I thought that it’s not just women that enjoy a special breakfast, especially if their partner and/or kids bring it to them in bed as a special treat!

So that got me thinking about what would make a breakfast truly special, and I immediately thought about delicious juicy scrambled eggs, scrambled in oodles of butter and topped with smoked salmon & dill.  Scrumptious!

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon & Dill - image
For one portion, you will need: 
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • ca. 40g of Scottish smoked salmon, chopped
  • 20g lightly-salted butter
  • a good pinch/handful of finely chopped dill, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation / Method

The eggs literally take SECONDS to scramble, so make sure you have everything else ready, including a plate to serve them on, your chopped salmon & dill and any toast you might be serving the scrambled eggs with!

Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly season with salt & pepper, to taste.  Whisk them with a fork, not a lot, just enough to break up the yolks.  Over-worked eggs  are not nice to eat!

Place the butter in a small non-stick frying pan.  Turn the heat on high and as soon as the butter starts sizzling, pour in the eggs.  Keep the heat on high and keep stirring with a wooden spoon/spatula so that you don’t end up with an omelette.  The process will literally take about 20 seconds, depending on how moist you like your scrambled eggs (I think they’re best served really juicy and barely cooked!).  Remember they’ll keep cooking once you turn off the heat as the pan will still be hot, so get them out of the pan and onto a plate as quickly as possible!

Place the scrambled eggs onto a plate, top with chopped smoked salmon & chopped dill, sprinkle on some more freshly-ground black pepper, to taste, and serve with your (or your dad’s/husband’s/boyfriend’s) favourite buttered toast.

This is not a recipe for the calorie-conscious, but then dads are allowed a day of indulgence at least once a year, aren’t they? 😉

 

Mmmmmm – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon & Dill
For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com