Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Comfort of Carbonara

We often find ourselves waking up a bit late on a Saturday, head a little groggy from too much booze the night before. It's a bit late for breakfast but need something NOW to sort things out. So often when I'm trying to think of something easy, quick and gorgeous to cook, Spaghetti Carbonara pops into my head. When I suggest this to Boyfriend, his eyes light up (as much as they can when a headache is pounding behind them) and I get a very enthusiastic 'Yes. I want that one.' A very energetic set by Kissy Sell Out was on i-player, helping me along the way.

Get twirling

By no means am I claiming this to be authentic, but it's similar to what they serve in my favourite Italian restaurant. Quite why people mess about with separating egg yolks and creme fraiche in various bastardisations of carbonara I will never know. This recipe takes as long as the pasta takes to cook. Perfect when feeling delicate and in no mood to wait for a feed. I find it preferable to feed Boyfriend pretty quickly after he demands food, otherwise his blood sugar levels drop and out comes Mr. Hyde. This is dedicated to my little sister to whom I have given this recipe to a million times. I don't think she ever actually writes it down.

Get the spaghetti going (normally I don't care what pasta I use but with this, spaghetti really is the best). Chop an onion and gently fry in a big saucepan, when it has softened a bit add chopped pancetta (I get the tubs of the ready chopped stuff - GENIUS) or bacon, and add to onions, keep stirring it so it doesn't burn. You want the onions really soft and juicy. While this is happening grate a handful of parmesan, take a small jug, and beat one or two eggs in it (we had an eggy breakfast this morning so only one for today), add the parmesan and approx. 200ml of single cream depending on how saucey you like it. I like it saucy. Grind lots of black pepper in, along with saltand mix. By now the onion mixture and pasta will probably be done, drain the pasta and add to the onion pan, turning off the heat. Pour over the eggy cream mixture, add a handful of chopped parsley and mix it all up really well. The heat from the pasta and onions will cook the eggs and the result is a bit like mini scrambled eggs. I add the juice of a lemon, which isn't traditional but it perks it up a bit, along with the parsley. And there you have it, pasta version of bacon and eggs.

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