Semplice Italiana

When I first moved out of home, I didn’t really know how to cook.

I struck a deal with my housemate that he’d drive me to and from work, if I did the cooking. Sounded like a pretty sweet deal to me! Except for the whole cooking thing, due to the not knowing how. That was a pickle. So, I walked into a supermarket, I picked up a food magazine and chose an appropriately show-offish recipe. I labored over that meal for hours (I had zero knife skills), and at the end of it all, narrowly avoided giving my new housemates food poisoning with semi-raw chicken. Uh, whoops. Sorry team!

Let this be a lesson for all of you: Don’t run before you can walk. Basics are basics for a bloody good reason.

Less food poisoning, mostly.

Even now, I find myself realising that while there are many things I can do (yay me!), I know very little about the basics. They’re worth knowing.

So here we are, at Italian. Namely, carbonara. Turns out, it’s nothing like that gluggy, clumped together mess that you get served in all of those restaurants along the cappuccino strip in Fremantle. It’s silky, delicate, and actually cream free, if you do it right. Today’s recipe isn’t super traditional, there is cream in the mix, but there’s nothing wrong with breaking from tradition. If you want the whole experience, try this.

If you’re a champion multi-tasker, you can have this on the table in less than 20 minutes. Eat that, Jamie Oliver!

Spaghetti Carbonara

From Delicious Magazine

400g pasta of your choice
1 tbs olive oil
200g bacon or pancetta, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
100ml thickened cream
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to instructions.

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a pan, and cook the bacon or pancetta for a couple of minutes, stirring. Toss in the garlic and stir for a further 30 seconds, then set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, extra yolk, parmesan and cream and season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and then quickly pour over the egg mixture.

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Toss together with the bacon and parsley, and serve.

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Advice for those playing at home: Keep the sauce off the heat when you’re mixing it with the pasta. If you cook the sauce too much, you end up with scrambled eggs, and that’s just not cricket.

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2 thoughts on “Semplice Italiana

  1. As my good friend Giovanni would say, “f@#$%ing cream, There is no “f@#$%ing cream in Car-bo-nara” *throws arms in th air and bangs the table*… but it makes me think I really should do carbonara soon.

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