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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pasta Carbonara

The case of the missing pine nuts - now where is my Dubai stash ?

During our trip to Edinburgh, we ate one of the most incredible pasta carbonara in Gordon's Trattoria  (situated along High Street ). Until now, I still have flashback ( the good kind ! ) as I recall the creaminess of the silky pasta with lashings of ham. It was so surreal that I did not recall if pinenuts was used. But as the Iranian pine nuts  (100g for 10 Dhm ! )  that I bought from Dubai's Spice Souq begs to be eaten, I tossed some in as well.

Carbonara pasta may be a simple dish but requires lots of care in its preparation. The yolk must be cooked by the hot pasta but too hot a pasta would scramble it. On the other hand, a lesser than  hot pasta will make a runny sauce which would not coat the pasta well.

The process of recreating Gordan's carbonara should be a well thought out process to maximize the possibility of creamy and surreal pasta strands.

Good Luck !

For 3

Ingredients :

250g sphagetti

5  tablespoons heavy cream ( I used Bulla, because it keeps better )
2 big egg  yolks, room temperature

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cubed ham shoulder
2 tablespoons garlic

1 handful of  toasted pinenuts
Grated cheese for garnish

Method :

In a heavy pot, bring water  to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt.
Cook pasta according to instructions.

Meanwhile, heat  oil.
Fry ham .
Add garlic and fry until slightly charred.
Turn off heat and set aside.

I use only  egg yolk in this recipe. Because bits of egg whites  make contact with the shell in the process of extracting the yolk, it is imperative to wash the egg and rid dirt off shell.  Ensure yolk and cream are at room temperature so that the yolk-cream can be cooked easily by the hot pasta

Combine yolks and cream.
Set aside.

Drain pasta and return it to pot.
While pasta is still steaming, pour egg-cream in a thin cream, tossing pasta with a pair of chopsticks at the same time.
Add ham and garlic.
Toss to distribute ham ingredients evenly.

Serve warm with toasted pine nuts and cheese.

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