Thursday, February 11, 2010
No worries, I tell myself. I will go home and fix myself some pasta. Penne carbonara. Quick to put together and very very satisfying.
I can almost hear the sizzle of bacon getting browned in the pan and can smell the finely minced cloves of garlic getting sauteed in the pan along with some finely minced onions. I see myself tossing the cooked pasta in the pan, I can almost feel my arms getting leaden from stirring the cream briskly into the pasta. That is it. Ready, in just around 15-20 mins.
I can feel the burst of flavours in on my tongue - the smoky flavour of bacon, the delightful pungency of the garlic and the silky texture of the cream sauce.
However, all of a sudden, I hear a "plop" and feel something wet on around my knee. And the husband saying "Watch how you eat! How can you be so clumsy?" Ah well, I was so lost in my culinary reverie that the noodles I was eating slipped out my chopsticks and promptly landed on my knee.
But then, you would be lost too - lost for words - once you've savoured the simple but highly satiating penne carbonara. Here's my way of making it.
Bacon bits: 3 tbsps (You can substitute bacon with mushrooms, they are perfect for this recipe)
Garlic: 1 large clove, finely minced
Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
Egg yolk: 2
Fresh cream: 125 ml
Parmesan cheese: 2 tbsps
Seasonings: dried basil, chilli flakes, freshly ground pepper, salt
Penne pasta: 3/4 cup (I actually eye-ball the pasta)
Start to cook the pasta as per package instructions. The idea is to drain your cooked pasta just as you finish sautéing the garlic and onions.
Beat the egg yolk and the cheese into the cream and add all the seasonings as per your taste.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil, toss the bacon and fry till it is evenly browned. Set aside. In the same pan, add some more oil and throw in the garlic and finely minced onion. Saute till the onions turn pink, return the bacon to the pan and stir.
Drain the cooked pasta and add it into the pan and stir so as to mix it well with the onions and bacon.
You've got to work really fast now - take the pan away from the fire, add the cream, egg yolk and cheese mixture. Return the pan to a very low flame and stir and stir as fast as you can. Work those arms!! The idea is to heat the cream through and coat the pasta evenly with the sauce without ending up with a scrambled mess! I hold my pan away from the burner every once in a while as I stir the pasta.
Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and cover for a minute so as to let all the flavours to mingle together. Then, without any ado, eat your fill. Do transfer to a serving plate before digging in!
Bacon. Cream. Cheese. Egg yolks. Yes, this one has got it all. Very bad for the arteries, however, excellent for the palate. I make this very rarely and I savour each and every mouthful!
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!