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Spaghetti Carbonara

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This is a great dish to make to show off your home-cured Pancetta or Bacon…

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Serves 2

This is a great dish to make to show off your home-cured Pancetta or Bacon, or just use shop-bought Pancetta, if you prefer. If you’re using home-cured Pancetta or Bacon, I recommend blanching it in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes to decrease the saltiness, then drain, before frying it as directed in the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 200g / 7 oz. dried spaghetti or linguine
  • 50g / 31⁄2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g / 7 oz. pancetta or streaky/fatty bacon, cut into small cubes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75g / 1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • a big pinch of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche/sour cream
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. First, cook the spaghetti in a pan of lightly salted boiling water until it is cooked to your liking. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it, reserving 5-mm/1⁄4-inch of the cooking water in the base of the pan, and keep this over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the garlic until soft. Add the pancetta and fry until crispy and browned. Remove from the heat and keep warm in the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then mix in most of the Parmesan cheese, reserving just a little cheese to sprinkle on the top. Add the parsley and crème fraîche and a good crunch of black pepper. Set aside.
  4. Add the drained hot spaghetti to the beaten egg mixture and mix a little, then return the spaghetti and egg mixture to the pan containing the reserved pasta cooking water and stir. You don’t want the egg mixture to scramble, but let it mix with the hot pasta water to create a sauce. Stir in the crispy pancetta and garlic mixture.

 

Serve immediately with the remaining Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, and a crunch more pepper or a little more freshly chopped parsley, as you wish.

Further Information

Charcuterie by Miranda Ballard
Book Review by Henrietta Green

Charcuterie by Miranda BallardWith its sub title “How to enjoy, serve and cook with cured meats”, this book covers every option from the glorious world of Charcuterie.

As founder with her husband Roland of Muddy Boots – one of the first ethical meat suppliers and now sadly no longer trading – Miranda gets straight to the point in her introduction.

Her first consideration is the “deal between humans and livestock… as the term animal husbandry reminds us, we are part of a binding contract that relies on our respect for animals and their welfare”. And, she makes the assumption that if you’ve bought the book, “we already agree about how to source our meat”.

Fair enough, and that having been said, Miranda continues that as we share these principles, we will also share, “the same enjoyment and confidence from making a recipe with good meat knowing it will deliver on taste”. A confident start to an imaginative and well-ordered book.

There are a few recipes on home curing – pancetta, duck breast and ham but the main focus is on serving and cooking with Charcuterie or accompaniments to serve with it.

I was particularly taken by Miranda’s take on Charcuterie Boards. These she divides into Italian, French, Spanish and Other, which she concedes is “a bit mean” as it includes British, German & Polish Cured Meats.

The recipes are lively, easy to cook and well laid out in sections on Small Bites, Appetizers, Salads and Light Lunches and Larger Dishes . Check out her Spaghetti Carbonara (above) and Roast Monkfish, Pancetta & Capers that delivers bags of flavour and a meatiness to what can often be a bland fish.

Credit: Recipe & all associated images With Copyright Owner Permission of Ryland Peters & Small (Photography by Steve Painter)

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