Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen. It lets you get food to your family in a hurry without sacrificing flavour. With carbonara, you harness the power of the egg yolk for a quick pasta fix. You can have this dish ready in the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta. The heat from the freshly cooked pasta will thicken the egg yolk in the sauce at the last moment. You'll be amazed at how something to simple and so speedy can be so tasty.
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound (450 g) of penne or any pasta
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil
5 ounces (140 g) or so of pancetta, chopped
5 ounces (140 g) or so of prosciutto, chopped
4 egg yolks
1 cup (250 mL) of mascarpone cheese
1 cup of (250 mL) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 bunch of fresh oregano, chopped
Splash the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and prosciutto, and gently sauté until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cream, eggs yolks, Parmesan and oregano.
Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water until it is tender yet chewy – al dente – 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, saving a few splashes of starchy cooking water in the pot.
Return the cooked noodles to their cooking pot and toss in the cooked pancetta and prosciutto. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the hot noodles, allowing the heat of the freshly cooked pasta to immediately thicken the works into a rich sauce. Serve and share pronto!
© Chef Michael Smith
Braising is my favourite cooking method. I just love the way it can transform an inexpensive, tough cut of beef into a tasty tender stew. Toss in the earthy flavours of root vegetables and aromatic red wine, and you are well on your way to a rich flavour base. But the real secret to a truly memorable beef stew is patiently browning the meat.
If you’re a home cook you need a good meat sauce recipe up your sleeve. This is one of mine. Its secret is that I don’t brown the meat. That way it doesn’t toughen and need hours of braising to tenderize again. I also use a food processor to save a lot of knife work. Quick, easy and tasty!