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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pasta Carbonara

When you start asking people how they cook a carbonara, they get all vague and unhelpful. I have asked myself, accordingly, is this because everyone has their own secret recipe for carbonara, passed down from generation to generation by blood oath of silence, or do people just not know? Is the true shame of it that most people's carbonara comes from a jar?

I'll be honest with you: I don't have a secret recipe. I don't have a recipe full stop. I just know that I like a good carbonara, I know how they should taste, and so I went ahead and made one. I didn't even go surfing for clues. I just started cooking.

The results were... carbonara-y. Certainly very tasty. If I was served it up as a carbonara in a flash restaurant I might be a bit unimpressed, but if it was a cheap pasta place I'd be stoked. And anyway, I can't afford to go to flash restaurants, so the point is moot. I can cook as well as the places I can afford to go out to, and that must be something, right?

Best of all, this took about 15 minutes, so its brilliant for a week night to feed the family in a hurry.

Pasta Carbonara

(Serves 4)

Grease a pan with the rind cut from 4 rashers of bacon. Put the bacon fat on the edge of the pan, so that it continues to spread over the pan during the cooking process.

Break up 1 piece of stale bread and fry in the bacon fat. When the bread is starting to crisp, as 1 finely chopped onion and 2 finely chopped cloves of NZ garlic. Soften until almost starting to brown, then remove everything but the fat from the pan.

Regrease the pan with the bacon fat and bring to a high heat. Fry the 4 rashers of bacon, chopped into 1cm square pieces. When the bacon is cooked and starting to brown, remove the fat from the pan and add the onion/garlic/bread back in.

Add 1 1/2 chopped tomatoes to the pan. Reduce rapidly. Add a squeeze of BBQ sauce and mix everything thoroughly to heat through.
Meanwhile, boil up a pot of pasta and make a standard quantity of alfredo sauce. Mix the pasta, alfredo and bacon together, and serve with fresh steamed veges.

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