Rockin’ around the Carbonara Clock

The thing is, you can’t live on desserts alone..you gotta get something else in, like pasta..

Pasta Carbonara – I made this for lunch and thought it too good not to share with you..

I always buy corn pasta, but be sure to check the cooking instructions on the back of the packet. I have bought varieties that you cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, any longer and they tend to turn mushy..and I have found other brands that is cooked for 10 minutes only to be ”al dente”.  To be honest I prefer ‘al dente” before mushy pasta.  Another trick to keep the form of the pasta is to drain the water immediately, if left in its water for too long it soaks up that water and will break apart.  I like to season the pasta with Ina Paarman’s ”Garlic & Herb Spice” as well as some dried Parmesan cheese.

You need

  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 100 g dried pasta per person
  • 200 g prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 summer squash, yielding 4 cups chopped squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced thin1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced thin

To slice the basil leaves, chiffonade them by stacking basil leaves on top of each other, roll them up into a cigar shape, starting at one end and working your way down the “cigar” take thin slices from the end.

How to

To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. As the water for the pasta is heating, prep your vegetables and heat olive oil and butter on medium high in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, lay pieces of sliced prosciutto down in the pan. Fry gently on both sides until just lightly browned (no more than a minute, more likely 30 seconds each side, the prosciutto is very thin), remove from pan with tongs or a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cool, tear into bite-sized pieces. Reserve oil in the pan. Add pasta to boiling salted water. The pasta should take about 10-12 minutes to cook until al dente (cooked but still a bit firm), which is just about the right amount of time you’ll need to cook the vegetables. While the pasta is cooking, add the onions, garlic, and summer squash to the sauté pan that you had used to cook the prosciutto. The heat should be medium high.

Stir the vegetables so that they are all coated with oil from the pan, then spread them out in the pan, generously salt and pepper them. Cook until they are just lightly browned, stirring only occasionally. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the grated Parmesan and lemon zest. When the pasta is ready, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the squash and onions (or add the veggies to the pasta, depending on the size of your pans). Pour the egg, Parmesan, lemon zest mixture over the pasta mixture and quickly stir in with a wooden spoon. The heat from the pasta will sufficiently cook the eggs. Add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water if it looks a little dry. Stir in the prosciutto and basil.

Garnish with more basil and grated Parmesan. This is my normal way of preparing pasta carbonara – today I tried it with a twist. White sauce. I know it is not how it should be done but its sooo good! First, you prepare the pasta as explained above.

While the pasta is cooking, start with the white sauce..

You will need

  • 150 ml butter
  • 50 ml flour (rye, rice / potato works well)
  • 500 ml milk & a pinch of salt

How to

Set stove plate on low setting, melt butter in saucepan, add flour gradually to butter whilst stirring continually to create a smooth texture and keep from burning, in the same slow gradual way add the milk, do not stop stirring, the consistency must be smooth and silky. Do note that the white sauce must be stirred with a metal spoon and a neat trick to see if the sauce is ready is if a thin white milky covering starts to form on the spoon. The longer you keep the sauce on the heat, must be kept low, the thicker the consistency will be. Stir occasionally until you remove the pot from the stove. Please do not cover the sauce at any time with a lid as it will overflow..

BON APPETIT

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