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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Recipe - Classic Carbonara

Myself and Nicola have just returned from holiday in Lanzarote and after spending two weeks in glorious sunshine, we now have to contend with the colder approaching winter weather. It won't be long before the winter evenings roll in and we will be arriving home from work in the dark. It's at time like these that I start thinking about dinner recipes that can be prepared quickly and easily with big flavours but little fuss.
Over the coming weeks I will be hoping to publish some recipes that you should be able to prepare easily starting with this delicious Classic Carbonara dish that I made on Friday evening, ready in under 15 minutes.
There are many theories for the origin of the name, which may be more recent than the dish itself. Since the name is derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal burner), some believe the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. It has even been suggested that it was created as a tribute to the Carbonari ("charcoalmen"), a secret society prominent in the early, repressed stages of Italian unification. It seems more likely that it is an urban dish from Rome, although it has nothing to do with the La Carbonara restaurant in the Roman Campo de' Fiori square.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
  • 150g dried pasta
  • 125g pancetta, diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g Grana Padano, grated (Pecorino or Parmegiano Regianno will both work well too)
Method
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water as directed on the manufacturers packaging. I use De Cecco pasta which takes 12 minutes to cook, giving plenty of time to cook the pancetta.
  2. In another pan, cook the pancetta until it starts to crisp up at the edges and remove from the heat.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it but make sure to keep some of the cooking liquor as you'll need that later.
  4. Toss the drained pasta with the cooked pancetta then add the egg yolks and grated cheese. Stir together quickly, the heat from the pasta will cook the egg yolk and melt the cheese, adding some of the cooking liquor will help loosen the pasta - add more if you want to create more sauce for your pasta.
To serve, simply split between two bowls and serve with some garlic bread and dressed salad leaves. When I made this last week I also pan-fried a chicken breast that I added to the pasta mix.


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