Tag Archives: spaghetti

Easy and light carbonara 


Easy carbonara with streaky bacon, eggs and cheese

We all love an easy and quick pasta dish. This recipe uses staples of the pantry and fridge, which means it can be whipped up anytime. Perfect for the flat and family, as it is easy on the wallet. It cooks in 15 minutes or less (mise en place done and water boiling). It has neither cream nor milk. Only eggs and cheese to make it creamy and cheesy. It tastes so much better than store bought sauces that you would silently marvel at its simplicity and wonder why you didn’t know this years earlier. Well in my case, I wondered out loud.

Better late than never, eat up!

Ingredients

Serves: 4

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 250g prosciutto or streaky bacon, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks (save the whites for making macarons, meringues and marshmallows)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheese, mozzarella, Edam, anything you like really!

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a tablespoon of salt when the water starts to boil.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs, a tiny tiny pinch of salt and the grated cheese. Set aside.
  3. Add the pasta to the water and cook till it is nearly al dente (about 8 minutes)
  4. While the pasta is cookingfry the diced prosciutto or bacon in a thick based pan until coloured. Add minced garlic and fry for another minute.
  5. The key point is to cook the pasta and meat simultaneously, and not letting the pasta over cook. Better let the meat wait for the pasta, than the pasta for the meat.
  6. Reserving most of the pasta water, remove the pasta from the pot and put it in the pan together with the meat and stir to combine. Add a cup of the pasta water to the pan.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and pour in a quarter of the cheese and egg mixture. I usually add that closer to the side of the pan closest to me. Working really quickly with tongs, I vigourously stir the cheese and egg mixture in with the pasta until the sauce is smooth and clings to the pasta. If done quick enough, the sauce will be silky and creamy, and shouldn’t be eggy nor lumpy.
  8. You may need to add more pasta water – make sure this is added to the opposite side of the pan where you add the cheese and egg mixture. Repeat step 7 until all the cheese and egg has been added.
  9. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

    It might take you several times to master the speed and action to achieve the perfect silky sauce. I promise you once you’ve got it, you (and your family) will be very glad you’ve mastered this recipe.

    Spaghetti with meatballs in red wine tomato sauce


    A friend was looking for an easy pasta dish to extend her family meal repertoire. Her daughter loves pasta and meatballs and so I thought to write up my recipe and share it with her.

    If you don’t have time to prepare the meatballs, you can easily use the mince to make a spaghetti bolognese instead. Just omit the egg and panko crumbs while marinating, and fry off the meat after the shallots and onions.

    Serves 2 hungry adults and 1 pasta-loving child

    Ingredients

    300g spaghetti

    For meatballs:
    500g minced beef and pork ( 50/50 is fine )
    1 egg
    2 tbsp tomato paste (condensed tomato)
    1 tbsp light soy sauce
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    1 tbsp thyme (dried is fine)
    2 tbsp basil leaves, torn (dried is fine)
    1 tbsp sugar
    3 tbsp panko crumbs (or bread crumbs)

    For sauce:
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, finely diced
    2 shallots, finely diced
    1 tbsp chilli flakes (optional)
    small glass of red wine
    1 tin, chopped tomatoes
    1 tin, tomato purée
    handful of basil leaves
    100g pecorino cheese
    salt to taste
    Brown sugar to taste

    Instructions

    In a large bowl, mix the minced meat, egg, tomato paste, light soy sauce, sugar, diced shallots and herbs together. Using a small spoon, shape the meat into small balls and place in an oven proof dish. You will have about 30-40 small balls. This can be prepared night before.

    Preheat the oven to 180C.
    In a frying pan, gently sauté onions and shallots in the olive oil until soft. Add chili flakes and red wine, let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and purée and let it bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to reduce. Stir occasionally to avoid it catching on the bottom of the pan. Taste it while the sauce is cooking – trust your taste buds and add a bit of brown sugar if it tastes too sour for your liking.

    While the sauce is cooking, put the dish of meatballs into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or till juices run clear. By all means try a piece.

    At the same time, put water into a large pot and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta in and add 1 tsp of salt. Cook it till al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Test it close to the 10 minute mark as I find my kind of al dente might be different to yours and I certainly don’t always follow the suggested times in the packet 100%. Drain pasta and add to the sauce. Add the meatballs to the pan, mix well and serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese (optional) and freshly picked basil leaves.

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    Quick and Easy Chicken Spaghetti Soup


    It is a simple one pot dinner. I put everything in the pot, and while it cooks I can spend time with my family. My daughter can even help with tearing the meat. This is especially good for the cold winter when family members may be sick and need some simple hearty meals. You can turn it into a simpler, short-cut variation of this dish if you use chicken breast fillet rather than the whole chicken. However by keeping the chicken whole while cooking, moisture is retained and the chicken is a lot more succulent as a result.

    Ingredients

    2 litre chicken stock
    1 litres water
    2 carrots, diced
    3 stalks celery, diced
    2 medium onions, diced
    6 black peppercorns
    1 clove of garlic, crushed
    1 Tbsp parsley
    1 Tbsp thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon salt and pepper
    1 chicken breast fillet or 1 size 10 chicken or 3 chicken legs
    1 packet of spaghetti

    Instructions

    1. Place the chicken stock and water in a large stockpot and bring it to a boil.
    2. Add everything except the spaghetti. Bring it back to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat to a simmer, skimming the surface of any foam. Cook for 40 minutes until the chicken is just done. If you are short in time and using chicken legs or chicken breast, simmer for 12 minutes only./li>;
    4. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl of ice for it to cool. Skim and remove the peppercorns, garlic clove, parsley, thyme and bay leaf from the stock.
    5. Bring the stock back to a fast boil. Add in the spaghetti, and cook until the noodles are al dente (about 12 minutes).
    6. In the meantime, remove the skin from the chicken, and using your fingers, gently tear the meat off the bones. Set aside.
    7. Serve the chicken meat with the hot noodle soup.

    Don’t forget to check out my earlier post for a chance to win $200 to spend at a camera shop!