Tag Archives: pasta carbonara

Oh BOY, oh boy… Rustling up a little *Carbonara*

17 Nov

20130628-072722.jpgOver the last few months I have seriously neglected my love of blogging and cooking yummy foods – not because I have fallen out of love with either of these things, but because my life has well *changed* a little.

Things were not really working out for me in my previous job, so I went for a complete career change and am now a very happy bunny.  My new job has taken over my life, (but only for the good) and now that my training period is complete I am ready to start getting back to writing my blog and cooking up some yummy foods again!

As well as changing my career I also have to admit that a BOY has entered my life and I have been teaching him how to cook some simple dishes, make meals that he/we can have for lunch during the week and just spending quality time with him.  SO APOLOGIES for neglecting you gemsfoodgems.

My work hours have changed significantly and returning home from work at 7:30pm in the evenings doesn’t leave much time to cook a healthy, delicious but most importantly QUICK meal.  Therefore my repertoire has changed considerably and I have been making more ‘simple’ dishes (it has also given me change to teach the boy a few things).  So here is one of my favourite, quick and easy recipes (and also one of the first meals I made for him).

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 4 portions of carbonara

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g brown pasta (I always choose penne, but for a traditional carbonara use spaghetti)
  • 4 -6 rashers of bacon (smoked or unsmoked)
  • 1 large egg
  • 50ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 125g Philadelphia cheese (or any cream cheese)
  • 150ml single cream
  • Black pepper
  • Parmesan to serve
  • 1 garlic bread – optional

HOW TO MAKE THE CARBONARA…

First boil the kettle, get a large pan at the ready and place the brown pasta into the pan.  Once the kettle has boiled pour the water over (so all the pasta is fully covered) and then bring to the boil.  Leave on a rolling boil for 12 – 15 minutes, until the pasta is al dente (i.e. cooked but not too soft – it should have a little bit of bite!).

Whilst the pasta cooks chop the bacon into small cubes.  I use 4 – 6 rashers of bacon as it is quite salty and too much salt is good for no one!  If I buy thick cut bacon then I will use just 4 rashers, if I buy standard bacon I will use 6 as you want to be able to taste the bacon, but too much isn’t good.  You could use the bacon bits if you wish (this will save even more time), but I don’t like doing this as the bacon bits are generally VERY fatty.  I cut all the fat off my bacon and use just the meat – for health reasons, but also because I HATE chewy non-edible bits of food.  YUCK.

Place a large frying pan on the heat, once warm/hot add the bacon to the pan and allow to cook until golden/brown in places.  Turn off the heat and leave to cool a little.  Whilst this cools in a jug add the single cream, milk and the large egg; then whisk for a couple of minutes.  Now add the cream cheese to the warm pan, with the cooked bacon bits and stir.  This will ‘melt’ the cream cheese and it will become a little more sauce like – as oppose to a solid lump.

The pasta should now be cooked, so drain the pasta (so there is NO water left) and then pour into the frying pan with the bacon and cream cheese.  To this add the mix of cream, milk and egg, season with black pepper (to your taste) and then begin to gently stir.  You do NOT need to add any heat to the pan at this stage, as the pan should be hot enough and the cooked pasta should also have just enough heat to start making the sauce thicken.  If at this stage this does not occur, add a little heat to the pan (a very low heat) and keep stirring/mixing the pasta and sauce until the sauce thickens.  The egg will allows this thickening process to occur, so if you do not stir/mix well enough you WILL end up with scrambled egg bits through your sauce – which is not good!

It should look like this…

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My penne carbonara nicely thickening in the pan…

Once your pasta carbonara has got to this stage, is heated through and smelling great you are ready to serve!  So, its time to get the plates ready and if you have cooked a garlic bread (it will need to go in the oven when the pasta starts cooking) then it is time to serve – along with some grated parmesan on the top.  The new boy and I LOVE this little dish and we even get a portion each for work the next day… a little bit of heaven ENJOY!

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