Monday, March 3, 2014

Carbonara Recipe

I have a special fondness for carbs, especially noodles but pasta in Singapore restaurants are often a tad pricey for my liking - the portions are either too small/not filling or the sauce is too sour/creamy for my liking. The best part of replicating your fav pasta dishes at home is that you can adjust the flavour to your taste.

The Carbonara recipe I am sharing may not be the most authentic but the mix of the following ingredients resulted in a lovely dish which was happily devoured in minutes by the family. It is simple and good.

Olive oil and garlic - adds flavour and fragrance to the dish. I would so throw in a couple more cloves of garlic the next time I make this. It will help you from feeling too "jialat"/overwhelmed when having this creamy dish

Whipping cream - main ingredient of cream sauce. My preference inclines towards using fresh cream

Cheese - imparts taste and saltiness to dish and a natural thickener to cream

Bacon - the saltiness and crunchiness of this cured meat goes fabulously with cream

Black pepper and salt - black pepper is a dash of magic to the dish, salt is optional, as the cheese and bacon already contribute to the salt content of this dish

Egg - you can use either whole or just the yolk but I fear the curdling of egg in my sauce so I kept it simple by poaching an egg as a topping for the pasta. I love mixing the oozing yolk with the sauce!

Now your know the ingredients, it's up to you to decide and adjust proportions to your liking. Otherwise start off with a basic version below and adjust thereafter. Happy carbonara-ing! (?)

(serves 2-3)

3 cloves chopped garlic
150g whipping cream
Olive oil
Pasta (I used spaghetti)

1. Boil pasta according to packaging instructions and set aside

2. In a non-stick saucepan, fry bacon till golden brown. This takes about 10 minutes or so over a small flame. I did not add any oil as I use streaky bacon which is more fatty. My bacon comes in vacuum packs so once I open the pack, I rinse them briefly under the tap and dap dry with kitchen towels. In the heated pan, the bacon will expel the remaining water content. Scoop up the water and dispose. Once the water content is greatly reduced, the bacon will start to get crispy.

3. In another heated pan, add a dash of olive oil and fry garlic till fragrant. Pour in cream and cook till cream boils. Remove pan from fire and add in the fried bacon and adjust taste with salt (optional) and pepper.

Optional - poached eggs
1. Make 1 egg at a time - crack 1 egg into a small bowl and leave aside

2. Use a deep pot and half fill it with water. Bring to a simmer and add in a dash of salt and 1 tbsp of vinegar.

3. Using a ladle, stir the water in a clock-wise direction. When a whirlpool is created, pour the egg right the centre of the pot or the eye of the whirlpool.

4. Using a thinner apparatus - a chopstick or spoon, continue to stir. The egg whites should fold over the egg and solidify

5. Cook the egg for about 1-2 minutes depending on how done you want your eggs to be

6. Use a big ladle and scoop up the egg gently

7. Serve on top of pasta dish

Oozing yolk-ness

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